Don’t take us for a ride: HC warns Chandigarh, Punjab for ignoring Nayagaon’s issues
HC seeks reports on the poor state of civic infrastructure and environmental degradation in Nayagaon and nearby villages due to civic apathy
Admonishing authorities for “taking the court for a ride”, the Punjab and Haryana high court has sought reports from Punjab and Chandigarh on the poor state of civic infrastructure and environmental degradation in Nayagaon and nearby villages due to lack of remedial measures.
“…it was the duty of both the state of Punjab and UT Chandigarh to make efforts for making the road functional which was the concern of the division bench also way back on 28.05.2014, out of which the contempt has also arisen. The delay as such cannot be condoned in any manner that the authorities are apparently sleeping on and taking this court for a ride,” remarked the bench of justice GS Sandhawalia and justice Lapita Banerji while referring to the delay in upgrading the road connecting PGIMER to Kaimbwala, passing through Karoran, Khuda Ali Sher and Kansal — all in Nayagaon’s vicinity.
The court was hearing an appeal filed against a single-judge order of holding three top Punjab officers — two IAS and one IFS — guilty of contempt of court.
They were held guilty in a plea filed by the Bari Karoran gram panchayat in Mohali, alleging poor state of infrastructure despite court’s intervention on several occasions. The bench of justice Sandhawalia stayed the contempt proceedings, but said it will monitor developmental works.
The court took note of a report by a local commissioner in which it was stated that dumping of garbage was going on along the road and in the choe.
As of the road, an area of around 500 metres fell in Punjab and 400 metres in Chandigarh. However, no decision had been taken by both about widening it after removal of illegal constructions, even as directions in this regard were issued in 2017.
Also, a sewerage treatment plant was planned in 2012, to be made functional in two years. An undertaking was also given in this regard by authorities, but had yet to be set up.
The report said huge piles of garbage were scattered over a large area and entire choe/master plan road area was in a very unhygienic condition. As many as 2 lakh residents were residing in the area, yet there was no proper road connectivity in the area and there was no dumping ground for garbage collection, it submitted.
The court observed that the report went on to show that the status of the area had not changed, in spite of various directions issued over a last decade.
It has now asked Punjab and Chandigarh to file a status report as to what steps are being taken regarding the clearing of encroachments on the road, its widening and steps taken to clear garbage, dumped along the road and choe.
“We fail to understand as to why 2 lakhs residents are not being provided basic public amenities for the last one decade in the state of Punjab,” the bench said, asking the Nayagaon administration to give details of development activities being carried out in the last one decade.
Steps accordingly be taken up for setting up of an STP and a report be submitted, it further added.
The court also sought details of encroachments in the choe and details whether any steps have been taken to remove them. The matter will again be taken up on January 16.