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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Kharghar residents continue fight to save shrinking pond

cities Updated: Sep 29, 2019 00:34 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Although the recent court order slapping ₹1-lakh fine on an NGO, which is fighting to save Kharghar pond, has upset the residents, they have decided to continue spreading awareness to preserve water bodies.

Residents of Sector 18 and 19 have planned an environment awareness programme on October 2

The pond is at Sector 19 in Kharghar and the residents, also members of NGO Abhivyakti, are opposing all steps to reclaim the pond.

A year ago, they had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against the reclamation of the pond.

The Bombay high court (HC) imposed a penalty of ₹1 lakh on NGO Abhivyakti. After state authorities submitted evidence that showed Abhivyakti’s claim that a six-hectare (ha) plot in Kharghar was a wetland to be false, the court dismissed the petition as “frivolous”

The NGO had approached the HC contending that the plot, situated between Sector 18 and Sector 19 of Kharghar, was a water body connected to Panvel creek

Irked to note factually incorrect statements in the PIL, the bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice Bharati Dangre termed it frivolous and imposed a cost of ₹1 lakh on the petitioner.

On October 2, the residents through many activities will educate people on the need to preserve water bodies in and around Kharghar.

Participants will gather in front of Dream Heights and Kesar Symphony at Kharghar’s Sector 19.

Residents and NGO members will intensify the awareness drive so that everyone joins in saving waterbodies and celebrate Gandhi Jayanti in a unique way.

Residents will form a human chain and will clean the area around the lake.

The events lined up on October 2 are skit, painting and poster-making competitions will be the important highlights along with taking pledge to preserve the environment.

Sudhesh Mali, 53, a resident of Sector 19, said, “The depleting water resources is a sign that the existing water body should be preserved. The awareness drive will generate awareness on preserving water bodies for a better life.”

Residents are roping in more participants so that the issue will be addressed.

“Posters and banners highlighting the depleting water table of the pond will be displayed. Winners of poster competition will be awarded,” he said.

The residents have alleged that City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) has not taken enough measures to preserve the water body.

Pramod Patil, nodal officer environment, Cidco, said, “We take appropriate measures and reclaim areas for the development of the city.”

“There are many small ponds and lakes in Kharghar, which if preserved, can definitely solve water problems. We face are facing water problems every day. The need of the hour is to know the importance of water and we need to preserve it for future our generations,” said Sunaina Tiwari, 46, a resident of Sector 18.

Environmentalist Abba Vitahl Ranaware, who has been involved in several plantation drives, said, “Environment and water is needed for survival. We should preserve these at any cost.” “We have water in abundance will soon become a history. I feel that residents are doping their bit to save the water which should be done by others as well.”

First Published: Sep 29, 2019 00:34 IST

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