Yamuna mystery road razed by DDA after HT report, role of sand mafia suspected
Senior officers of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) rushed to Yamuna bank on Friday to dismantle a mysterious road that had cropped up on the river. The move came a day after Hindustan Times had reported about the path under the Delhi Metro bridge between Yamuna Bank and Indraprastha.
Following their visit, DDA officials confirmed that the road had been illegally constructed and was choking the river.
Officials also said that they had stumbled upon a large ditch on the river island from where they suspect sand was being mined illegally. The road was being used to transport sand from the island to the river banks.
Their findings strengthened the claims that the road construction was the handiwork of sand mafia. DDA has lodged a complaint with the Shakarpur police station claiming that anti-social elements had dumped debris in the river to construct a road.
“Before the road was dismantled, one of our guards walked up to the river island. He found a ditch — at least 10 feet by 20 feet. Our suspicion about the role of sand mafia has become stronger after we found the hole,” a senior official said.
A 12-member quick response team of DDA’s eastern division, headed by an executive engineer and two assistant engineers, rushed to the spot on Friday. JCB machines were used to dismantle the road. The DDA also plans to bring in a Poplane machine to clear the remaining debris from the riverbed after Eid al-Adha.
After visiting the site, senior engineers of the DDA claimed that the construction of the road would have taken at least three to four months and over 200 trucks of debris could have been used.
“The road was around 125 metre long and around 4 metre wide. The river bed where the road was built was at least 5 feet deep. This means it took tonnes of waste and several months to build that road,” an official said.
Activists, however, questioned how the authorities — the police and the DDA — had failed to detect that a road was being built on the river bed.
“It is clear the road was not built by any government agency. It was built illegally by unscrupulous persons. But it was not built overnight. So what were the authorities doing? This could not have happened without the help and connivance of a section of government officials,” said Manoj Mishra, a river activist.
Environmentalists were shocked to see the new road and claimed that this would damage the river’s ecology as every activity of the river from silt transportation, groundwater recharge and revival of subsoil bacteria would be affected.
DDA officials said that they have roped in a private security agency to guard the Yamuna banks and prevent dumping of wastes and debris in the river.