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Tughlaqabad’s poison lake: High Court orders quick clean-up plan

The court has directed the chief secretary to file a report on the proposal within five weeks.

Tughlaqabad, Tughlaqabad lake, Tughlaqabad lake clean up, The 2-km long water body has been formed by discharge of sewage and waterlogging in the area. (Source: Express Archive)

Observing that human beings are the “biggest enemy” of the environment, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi chief secretary to convene a high-level meeting on steps to be taken to deal with “toxic” water body near the Tughlaqabad fort.

Earlier this year, a PIL had alleged that a 2-km long and 300-m wide “artificial lake” had been created due to effluent discharge in Tughlaqabad. The DPCC, in its affidavit, had admitted that lack of a sewerage system in the area had caused waterlogging.

The court of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice I S Mehta pulled up the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and other agencies after it was informed that no remedial measures had come of the meeting convened by  Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

An affidavit submitted by the DPCC also stated that the Delhi Development Authority was utilising the effluents for “greening and horticultural purposes”.

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The DJB also came under fire from the court after its  counsel claimed that a sewage treatment plant could not be set up in the area and blamed other agencies for discharge of effluents.

According to the DPCC report, the DJB had claimed that it was “not in a position to provide a sewage treatment plant in the area” as there was no land available. The counsel for the DJB said the land was under authority of the municipal corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

The court noted that the issue required a “high-level consideration”. The ASI, represented by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, was also asked to give its suggestions, as the water body is near the Tughlaqabad fort.  “We are destroying the environment and monuments. We could have minted money through tourism alone,” the court said.

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The Delhi chief Secretary has been directed to call a meeting with the DJB, DDA, ASI, DPCC and all authorities concerned to chalk out a proposal within three weeks.

The court has directed the chief secretary to file a report on the proposal within five weeks and fixed the case for hearing in February next year.

First published on: 25-12-2014 at 12:05:38 pm
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