The Allahabad High Court has directed the Jalaun District Magistrate to demolish all the 15 temporary bridges constructed with the help of sand bags and mud on Betwa river within three days. It has also directed the DM to register FIRs against all contractors involved in constructing such bridges that affect the river’s natural flow.
The DM will have to submit an affidavit, along with photographs in this regard on July 8- the next day of hearing. The court also directed the state chief secretary to look into a March 9 order passed by an under secretary-level officer, stating that no action should be taken against the contractors.
This was against the recommendation of the DM. The court said that the chief secretary should take action — criminal and departmental — as required to deal with the matter.
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Illegal mining of minor minerals and other irregularities had led to the suspension of the Allahabad Division commissioner and Fatehpur DM earlier this month, when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had visited the district.
A division bench of Justices Arun Tandon and Sunita Agarwal passed the order on Wednesday, while hearing a PIL filed by social activist Sushil Kumar Yadav, through his counsel, Rakesh Pande — who is also the chairman of Allahabad High Court Bar Association.
Pande said: “We had sought quashing of the March 9 order and removal of temporary bridges, as it altered the flow and damaged ecology and environment. We had also sought action against the culprits in this regard.”
The court said: “Leniency in the matter shall not be appreciated by the court having regard to the adverse impact on the environment as also on the free flow of the river.”