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HC seeks explanation on vanishing water bodies

delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2011 23:40 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times
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Concerned over the destruction of water bodies across the Capital, the Delhi High Court has summoned a senior official of Delhi Parks and Gardens department for an explanation about the situation.

Though pleas from environmentalists and residents have been pending before the court since years, what prompted the court to issue such an unprecedented order were an old villager’s fervent arguments.

From northwest district’s Kanjhawala, Ram Krishan, 73, passionately described to the two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna how the water bodies in his area were being “destroyed at the behest of the DDA”.

Arguing in rustic Hindi before the Bench, Krishan slammed the DDA and alleged that they “favoured” those who wanted to encroach on the water bodies.

He also submitted several photographs as proof to establish that the DDA had scant regard for the environment and water bodies.

Justice Khanna, while agreeing with him, said: “This is a major problem across Delhi , especially in gram panchayats and villages. There is massive destruction of water bodies.”

“Saving water bodies has become a must to save environment and for ecological balance. DDA, MCD and all other civic agencies are expected to take necessary action”, the Bench had said in an earlier hearing.

Realising the importance of the issue, the court has formed an inspection panel comprising lawyers Aman Hingoranin and Jayshree Satpute. The two have been asked to visit the water bodies of the Rani Khera village in Kanjhawala and submit a report.

Earlier, the court had taken up the cause of the Neela Hauz, an ancient water body on the Aruna Asif Ali Marg near Vasant Kunj, which had been edging towards extinction due to the construction of a flyover. In the case, the two judges had ordered restoration of the lake at the earliest.