NGO wants prez to intervene to save Yamuna

Bus depot on river's bed was supposed to be a temporary structure for duration of Commonwealth Games

neha

Neha Sethi | November 29, 2010


Millennium Park bus depot
Governance Now photo

After the Delhi government claimed that it will not demolish the Millennium Park bus depot, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, a green NGO has now written to the president, Pratibha Patil, to intervene in the matter. In a letter to the president, the NGO has said that the use of 61 acres of the Yamuna river bed for a permanent bus depot is an assault on the river by a state agency.

‘This brazen takeover of the river bed / flood plain by an agency of the state is not just unauthorised and illegal but violates the duties cast on the state by the Article 48-A of the Indian constitution that reads, ‘The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country’, the letter claims.

The Millennium Park bus depot in New Delhi had come up on the Yamuna river bed to park the buses being used to ferry athletes during the Commonwealth games. The lieutenant governor’s (LG) office, in a letter to the NGO in May, had assured that the depot would be a temporary structure which would be removed after the games. But the recent reports suggest that both the Delhi transport corporation (DTC) and the Delhi government have said they have no plans of demolishing the structure. Rs 61 crore have been spent on its construction.

Manoj Misra, the convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan said that his previous letters to the chief minister Sheila Dikshit, prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi have not managed to elicit a reply from any of them. “I hope the president takes note of the letter,” he added. Misra said that this construction will hamper the recharge of groundwater.

But Rakesh Mehta, the chief secretary justified government's decision with a bizarre claim that the depot, by housing DTC buses, was promoting public transport and hence was facilitating clean air in the city. “It is a matter of clean water vs. clean air,” he told Governance Now, adding that the government needs to discuss the matter with the NGO.

“This is an excuse that he has been trying to make for a long time,” Misra said. The government cannot give preference to clean air or water and they have to ensure both at the same time, he said.

“How can you encroach on the river bed without any rule of law?” he asked, adding that the government should respect the authority of the LG. “We just want them to fulfil the terms and conditions under which the bus depot came up,” he said.

Comments

 

Other News

Women can enter inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah: Bombay HC

Women now have the right to enter the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, the Bombay high court said on Friday. However, the women cannot enter the shrine as per the orders of the high court as of now. The shrine trust will appeal to the supreme court and hence the order has been stayed for six wee

Everything you need to know about draft surrogacy bill

 The cabinet on August 24 gave its approval for the introduction of "Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016".  Here are the salient features of the proposed bill:   •       The Bill will regulate surrogacy by establishing National Su

Manís new best friend Ė a tree

A tree in the backyard keeps the doctor away? Maybe that should be the new-age mantra for good health. A paper published by the University of Chicago researchers, in the journal Scientific Reports in July, looked at urban trees kept by the city of Toronto and the health of the residents there.

Modi government asks Mehbooba to round up OGWs

In a major policy shift on counter terrorism strategy in Kashmir, the Narendra Modi government has asked Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to go after the over ground workers [OWGs] of insurgent groups in Kashmir, to dismantle their support network. According to sources, the in

Experts stress on the need to scale up village water safety and security process

Scaling up village water safety and security (VWSS) can help improve access to quality drinking water and condition of household toilets. It can also help face floods and drought situations, NGO said during conference organised by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation and Plan India on Wednesday.

Scorpene submarine data leaked, report sought from navy

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has sought a report from the Indian Navy chief following the leak of secret data on the combat capability of the Scorpene-class submarines. The classified information of the 3.5-billion-dollar project handled by the French shipbuilder DCNS to build submar

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter