Construction in River Bed Contempt of Court: Rajendra Singh

Construction in River Bed Contempt of Court: Rajendra SinghThe well known water conversationalist Rajendra Singh has opposed the concretization work in Devanadi. He has also opposed the construction of the road that was being done along the Mutha River bed. This road stretches from NH4 to Vithalvadi. According to him, these construction works infringe the stay order of the Bombay high court on concretisation of the water bodies.

He visited the site of the ongoing construction with the members of Baner Area Sabha and the Jal Biradari. Devanadi is a 5 km stream that runs through Baner and merges in to the Mutha River. He observed that the situation of rivers is worst in Pune as compared to other places. He added that if the government violates the norms, the people should stand up and protect the water bodies. They should unite for this cause.

According to the stay order of the Bombay high court, the respondent (Pune Municipal Corporation) was not allowed to do construction at any river bed as it could decrease the width of the river. The petitioners included the Jal Biradari (a social organization) and the Baner Area Sabha (a residentai??i??s group). They had filed a case in March 2011, opposing the construction by the PMC and they wanted the restoration of all the water bodies.

After the stay order of the court, when the officials of the PMC continued the construction at the river beds, the Jal Biradari and the Baner Area Sabha filed a case against them for a contempt of court.

When Rajendra Singh, a Magsaysay Winner, visited the site at Vithalwadi, he noticed that there was blue demarcations of the flood plain near the river, and the construction was being done without regarding this demarcation. He said that ai???The construction of the road that connects Vithalwadi to NH4 is being carried out in the flood plain. Standing on the under-construction elevated road parallel to the river, we can see the flood plain markings on the building on the left and the river on the right. It clearly shows this is the river bed. Going by the law, no construction and developmental work can take place in flood plain areas and river beds.ai???

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The residents of Vithalwadi say that the area is quite prone to flood like situation. Singh said that after the road gets constructed, it would make the area more prone to floods. He said that ai???Walls are being constructed along the sides of the stream and are filling up the land on both sides. This makes it easy to encroach upon the land at this site.ai???

After the order of the high court, the ministry of environment and forests had sent a team for inspection at the construction site in November 2011. However, this team has not yet completed their reports. The next hearing for the petition will be held on January 27, 2012. According to the petition, the PMC was carrying out construction in the middle of the water bodies. This construction should have been done along the roads. Another point that was opposed by the petitioners was that although the project undertaken by the PMC officials would cost Rs 400 crore, they did not bother to undertake an assessment of the impact their project would cause on the environment. This project was also not in accordance with the cityai??i??s development plan. where to buy sildenafil. canadian drugs with out prescription.

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