Stop dharnas, public speeches at Jantar Mantar immediately: NGT to Delhi govt
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday banned protests and demonstrations at the iconic Jantar Mantar with immediate effect, saying that such activities violate environmental laws.
The NGT’s verdict came on a plea filed by one Varun Seth and some other residents of the area where the 18th century monument is located. They said processions and agitations by different organisations and political parties on the Jantar Mantar Road were a major source of noise pollution in the neighbourhood.
A bench headed by Justice RS Rathore directed the authorities to shift protesters “forthwith” to an alternative site at the Ramleela grounds in Ajmeri Gate.
Jantar Mantar – an area outside to the protected monument’s premises -- was chosen as a protest site in 1993 after the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid movement raised security concerns and the government banned protests at previous demonstration site, the Boat Club at India Gate.
In the recent past, some of the major agitations that have taken place at Jantar Mantar include Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption, retired army personnels’ One Rank One Pension movement, and the Not in My Name protests.
The NGT ordered the chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Council, commissioner of Delhi Police and the state government to file compliance reports within five weeks.
The NDMC was directed to remove all makeshift and temporary structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the stretch of the road. Garbage strewn on the streets would have to be removed and the area cleaned within four weeks.
The green panel observed that the authorities have failed to protect the right of enjoying pollution-free environment of the citizens living around the Jantar Mantar area, which is close to the heart of the city. .
The bench also said that it was the duty of the state to ensure that the rights of the people to live a peaceful and comfortable life are not infringed by those who create noise pollution in the name of their right of freedom of speech and expression.
“It is clear that the petitioners are suffering because of gross violation of laws, air pollution and health hazards due to lack of cleanliness and non performance of duty by the authorities of the State which is endangering their life,” the bench observed.
The tribunal also said that the neighbourhood has completely changed, where one finds that men, women and children are bathing, washing their clothes under Delhi Jal Board tankers and the situation becomes worse when the people defecate in the open, on pavements, which creates an unhygienic condition on the stretch of road.
An increasing number of farmers and BPL (below poverty line) card holders in Karnataka are falling into a debt trap after failing to receive compensation under various government schemes that promise payment after they build pakka houses with their own money. Beneficiaries under these schemes are promised 100 per cent of the cost of building a pakka house. Payments have been pending since July last year for 919 people in Bengaluru (Urban) district alone.
The Karnataka High Court has quashed the notice of ₹69 lakh in betterment charge the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) demanded from the 150-year-old Good Shepherd Convent here. The school sought to build an additional four floors on an existing 100-year-old building on its campus. But the BBMP calculated betterment charge on the entire 23 acres of land. The Good Shepard Society/ School stands on 23 acres “in the heart of the city.”
Senior politician Basavaraj Horatti, who recently resigned as the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council and MLC, on Wednesday joined the BJP. He joined the party in the presence of C C Patil among others, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi, Ministers R Ashoka, Govind Karjol, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. He is likely to be fielded as the BJP's candidate for the upcoming MLC polls from West Teachers' constituency.
In a suspected case of suicide, a 32-year-old IT professional was found dead inside his rented apartment in a group housing society here, police said on Wednesday. The body was found hanging from a rope inside the fourth-floor apartment of the society in Sector 74, under Sector 113 police station limits, on Tuesday night, officials said.
The elephants are allowed to bathe twice a day, which often goes up to three times during severe heatwave. Their day goes by rolling in the mud pond and bath pond. And the time to leave from here is decided only at their own will. Visitors can often spot the white tigress, Rani, lounging in the open. And whenever in her enclosure, she too gets coolers to keep her cool.