Amicus seeks Lake’s protection from ‘unauthorised construction’

Tanu Bedi also raised the threat to Sukhna Lake over the construction of housing projects in the catchment area.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: February 22, 2012 1:26 am

Submits photos in HC to prove 277 hectares of catchment area fall in Punjab

To negate the Punjab government’s claim that no part of the catchment area falls within the jurisdiction of Punjab,Advocate Tanu Bedi,amicus curiae in the public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to Sukhna Lake,today produced photographs to prove that a total of 277 hectares of catchment area falls in Punjab. Bedi also raised the threat to Sukhna Lake over the construction of housing projects in the catchment area. The amicus curiae today requested the High Court to direct Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh to give exact information to the Court if any such projects are under consideration in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake as per the map prepared by the Survey of India.

Bedi filed a report stating that the Punjab government had been categorically reiterating that none of the catchment area falls within the jurisdiction of Punjab. “This assertion is factually incorrect and the same can be demonstrated by the photographs taken at the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. The information written on the board clearly shows the exact area,ie 277 hectares,falling under jurisdiction of Punjab,” reads the report submitted by Bedi along with photographs.

The Court had on March 14,2011 stayed construction/ building activities in catchment area of Sukhna Lake falling under the jurisdiction of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh. “Yet it seems that the mandate of the Court’s order has not been complied with in its true sense,” Bedi submitted. She referred to a statement made on February 15 by the counsel for the builder during the course of the hearing of Tata Camelot case,that in the area which is claimed to be the catchment area as per the map prepared by Survey of India,many more building projects are allowed to be set up.

UT produces minutes of Feb 10 meeting

The Chandigarh Administration on Tuesday produced the minutes of the meeting held on February 10 on the issue of demarcation of the catchment area. There was stiff opposition from Punjab on the issue of catchment area at the meeting.

After deliberations,it was unanimously decided,except for the representatives of Punjab,that “the catchment area cannot be changed and altered unless a natural upheaval takes place which consequently alters the catchment area. Man-made interventions cannot change the catchment area as they can only hinder the surface flow of water.” The Survey of India will submit detailed report in the next meeting including the documents pertaining to conduct of survey for demarcation of catchment area of Sukhna Lake in past.

The members also decided that a representative of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests should also be made part of the meeting. The High Court today adjourned the case for three weeks,awaiting the decision of the next meeting,slated to take place on February 28.

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