Indore residents on Sunday took to ‘Jal Satyagrah’ at Pipliyahana reservoir on eastern Ring Road to protest the construction of a modern court complex there.
Congress legislator Jeetu Patwari, BJP leaders Mahendra Hardia, Indore Municipal Corporation speaker Ajay Singh Naruka joined the peaceful movement led by city-based social activist Kishore Kodwani to save the water body.
About 100 men stood in the reservoir and waved the tricolor to protest the decision of government and judiciary to construct the court complex worth over Rs 700 crore. “I will continue the Satyagraha until the government scraps its project,” Kodwani said.
Activists and conservationists have been staging demonstrations but many feel that the participation of politicians has given a momentum to the movement.
Recently, a 12 feet wide concrete retaining wall was built across the water body to form a boundary between the proposed court complex and the water body. The wall has divided the water body nearly into two parts, raising concern among people that the construction would gradually kill the water body.
The administration claims that, as per land revenue records, only 3.674 hectare is Pipliyahana reservoir area, and the rest is government land. The new complex is coming up on 11.161 hectare of land adjacent to the water body.
The state government feels that a modern court complex is necessary in Indore. The number of judges sitting in Indore’s district and sessions court will be increased to 200 in next five years. The existing district court complex near Gandhi Hall is old and offers little scope for upgradation.
Kodwani had earlier petitioned the National Green Tribunal to stop the construction. The tribunal, however, had ruled that the construction could take place at least 30 metres away from the ‘full tank level’ of the reservoir and that the water body should not suffer any kind of damage.