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
Millennium Park bus depot

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

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude

Trafficking survivors’ votes don’t count

While the entire nation is agog with political grapevine, political parties are weighing on all options to lure voters by touching upon issues that impact their lives. Several parties, including the BJP and the Congress have released their manifestos while many are about to join the bandwagon. The

“I have a bigger reason and motivation to join politics”

Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress party and within just two months into politics, the actor is already surrounded by controversies – from being accused of making anti-Hindu comments to inappropriate poll campaigning. Fielded against BJP’s Gopal Shetty in the Mumbai North constituency, Ma

Campaign trail with BJP’s Manoj Kotak

Dressed in white shirt and pants, three time Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) corporator Manoj Kotak is now contesting from Mumbai north-east constituency. Kotak, representing BJP in the BMC, is ready to rally around Ward 125 in Ghatkopar east area. It’s about 7:30 pm on a hot April e

Modi is now the topic of a PhD thesis

Sunil Bhatt, a Gujarat-based professional, has completed what is possibly the first PhD thesis on prime minister Narendra Modi. The thesis, titled ‘Leadership, Governance and Development: A case study of Shri Narendra Modi’, has been accepted at the Veer Narmad South Gujarat Universit



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter