The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday stalled the beautification work of Jamnagar’s famous Lakhota Lake being done by the city municipal corporation. The court, while ordering the stay on the works, directed the state to show whether any scientific study was conducted to measure the environmental damages that may be caused in view of the magnitude of the proposed plan surrounding the lake.
The division bench of Justices Akil Kureshi and J B Pardiwala ordered that no further activity on beautification and development of the lake undertaken by the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) would take place . The court was hearing three PILs clubbed together on the same issue. The bench has directed the state government to clear its doubt as to whether any exercise has taken place categorising wetlands in the state or not.
The court, prima facie, observed that Lakhota Lake is a wetland and would come under Conservation and Management Act, therefore, it has to be protected. The court also observed that it was not clear whether any regulatory authority has been appointed by the government in this regard or not. The petitioners have said that the JMC’s plan would damage ecological system impacting birds population in the lake. There are 70 species of birds, both migratory and local, that can be found by the lake during winters. JMC’s report submitted before the court also reveals that the population of such birds is in thousands.
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JMC representatives have submitted that 40 per cent of the work has been completed.