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

A bill that may help Uttarakhand restore its forest

The forest fire which has been raging in Uttarakhand for the past few days has caused widespread destruction and has left environmentalists worried. The fire has undoubtedly caused extensive damage and the impact on wildlife is still being gauged. In such a situation, a bill in parliament ca

‘India on negative trajectory in terms of religious freedom’

There are many people who believe that after Anupam Kher’s spirited defence of the prime minister at a debate in Kolkata, it is proven that there has been no intolerance in India. But the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) decided to go by facts and has come up with the conclu

This is how automobiles have affected India’s environment

In 15-years, automobile production in India increased by 339.5 %. The total production in 2001-02 was 53,16,302, this increased to 2,33,66,246 in 2014-15, recording an absolute growth of 1,80,49,944 vehicles, according to data.gov.in.

A broken promise, an incomplete flat and a big hole in the pocket

I still vividly remember that nippy February evening in 2010 when and I and my wife drove down to a real estate broker’s office in Noida and booked our dream flat in Amrapali Silicon City, with the hope that we would, in a couple of years, shift into our own abode. That night we celebr

Sikkim tops in supporting human development, Bihar at the bottom

The Public Affairs Centre, a not for profit organisation, assessed states and union territories using data available in the public domain in key areas of governance and came out with ‘Public Affa

Ujjain banks on green Kumbh to turn smart

The story of every Kumbh mela, where a colossal tented city springs up on the banks of a sacred river every 12 years, is simultaneously the story of the eternal and the ephemeral, the mundane and the magnificent. It is the story of saints and moksha-seekers who are joined in their belief that, at a certain

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter