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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Nurseries encroach on river, activists cry foul

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 17, 2013
First Published: 23:08 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 23:10 IST(17/2/2013)

A new form of land grab has come to light on the Yamuna river bed - nurseries.

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"We've come across instances of land grab in the garb of raising nurseries in the riverbed. Unscrupulous elements are trying to convert patches of the riverbed into private farmlands and nurseries and might in due course start building farmhouses there," said Manoj Misra of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.

"The government's decision to regularise farmhouses in unauthorised areas might have been a trigger. We request that no farmhouse in that area be regularised," Misra said.

Referring to a recent order of the green tribunal to remove debris from the Yamuna bed, Misra, in a pictorial report submitted to Lt-Governor Tejendra Khanna, said, "It is a matter of regret that while the government of UP has started to remove debris, neither the DDA nor the Delhi government has begun the process.

"The two-week period given by the national green tribunal for notification of sites where construction and other material is to be removed has lapsed but nothing has happened," he said.

Debris continues to be dumped near Gita Colony, Old Usmanpur village and on both sides of the road leading to the previous pontoon bridge on Bhairon Marg. "The DDA should carry out a spot verification and take action to evict all unauthorised persons. Legitimate farmers are the best keepers of the riverbed. There is little or no dumped debris in areas where active farming has been happening," he said.

"Rather than evicting farmers, let the DDA enter renegotiate the terms of the lease with a provision that only organic farming shall be permissible," he said.

The tribunal had on January 31 ordered notification of dumping sites within two weeks and the formation of a multi-department panel within a week for framing of one-time anti-pollution guidelines.


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