Thursday 28 February 2013

Uttarakhand high court To Government: Remove illegal construction around ecological areas of Ganga

Written by Anil Singh

A two-judge Uttarakhand High Court (Nainital) bench of Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Alok Singh has ordered the Uttarakhand Government to clean up Ganga's surrounding areas in ecologically sensitive zones and rid it of all illegal construction.

The area in question is the periphery of 200 meters around the Ganga in virgin areas.

Encroachment from Haridwar to Gaumukh:

In addition to the above illegal construction; there's massive illegal encroachment all along the Haridwar-Gangotri Highway. It's hard to believe that the district Administrations of the concerned districts are not aware of this encroachment on the Government land. Interestingly, this encroachment is not only residential, but commercial as well. At many places, Encroachers are doing sprawling business on Government land, just under the district administrations's nose.

Coming back on to the HC direction on the illegal construction in the virgin areas of Ganga; the HC bench also asked these officials to present before it the action taken report as early as possible. Officials led by vice-chairman of Haridwar Development Authority have started work on implementing the court order, said administration sources.

The bench gave its order on the basis of a PIL filed by one Dinesh Bhardwaj in Roorkee. Bhardwaj had said that despite a government order in 2000 declaring 200 metres of Ganga ecologically sensitive near prohibited zones, illegal constructions were going on unchecked. Bhardwaj said massive illegal activities like hotels and other buildings were threatening the existence of the river. The PIL stated that illegal constructions would choke the river to its death.

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