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

SAIL’s net loss declines to Rs 730 cr

Country’s largest steelmaker-- Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) on Thursday claimed of registering slump in standalone net loss at Rs 730.72 crore for the quarter ended September 30, helped by a strong marketing push and cost optimisation measures, reported Press Trust of India (PTI).

The present form of dancing is like circus: Pandit Birju Maharaj

Pandit Birju Maharaj is a living legend and an institution in himself. He represents Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Lucknow. He has mesmerised artists and audiences in India and abroad with his Kathak skills. He is also an accomplished vocalist and musician. He can play all string instruments like Sitar, Sa

National Rail Plan, 2030 unveiled

 The ministry of railways has come up with National Rail Plan, 2030 to provide long term perspective to plan for augmenting the railway network. In order to give a platform to concerned stakeholders to have their suggestions on modernisation and rapid development of the railways, a website (

Disruptions in parliament amount to gagging majority: Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday emphasised on the need to avoid disruption of parliamentary proceedings. He said that while three Ds are essential in a parliamentary system of democracy i.e. Debate, Dissension and Decision, the fourth D i.e. Disruption is totally unacceptable. The pa

So, who gets Jayalalithaa’s properties?

 Who will own the properties of Jayalithaa, who served five terms as chief minister of Tamil Nadu and died on December 5? That is a question which is being asked by the people in Chennai. In the affidavit submitted by Jayalalithaa in her nomination paper for the 2016 assembly election from R

Aadhaar-based rail reservation mandatory for senior citizens

 Railways reservation for senior citizens will be directly linked to Aadhaar or Unique Identification (UID) cards on a mandatory basis for both counter and e-tickets from April 1, 2017.  The railway ministry has decided to implement Aadhaar-based ticketing system for senior citizens in

Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter