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Delhi HC directs DDA to remove encroachments from Yamuna floodplains
4/10/2024 10:41:06 PM
NEW DELHI, Apr 10: Delhi High Court has directed the removal of encroachments from the Yamuna floodplains and sought a report from the DDA on the development of biodiversity parks/wetland on the site, saying green development of the banks is necessary.
A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan passed directions for "rejuvenation" of the river by removal of construction debris and asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to take up the issue of its "controlled and scientific dredging" on a war footing.
The court, which directed the authority to explore green horticultural development of river fronts and recreational zones and appoint nodal officers for sustained upkeep of the area, also said dedicated "ghats" should be created for devotees.
"It is necessary to do green development of the banks of the Yamuna as wetlands and public spaces, parks for open green spaces, access to civic amenities, zones of entertainment or playgrounds for the children. This will lead to buy-in by the common citizen, a sense of ownership and consequent pressures on the authorities to ensure maintenance. All this will go hand in hand with ecological restoration, maintenance, and protection of the floodplains," observed the bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet PS Arora, in an order passed on April 8.
"The DDA, in coordination with all concerned agencies, is hereby directed to ensure removal of encroachments from the Yamuna river floodplains. Further, the DDA shall submit an action taken report on the development of 10 biodiversity parks/wetland areas in the Yamuna river floodplain, including an action plan with timelines for completion of pending projects," it ordered. The court observed that a large number of religious devotees pray at different locations and discharge solid waste in the river water, thus adding to an already serious problem. It asked the DDA to construct "ghats" or "platforms on stilts" for the devotees, which would enable the authorities to scientifically deal with the challenge of waste. The court's order came on two suo motu petitions, initiated on its own, on the waterlogging problem in Delhi and on the issue of rainwater harvesting and easing traffic jams in the national capital during monsoon and other periods. In the order, the bench noted that the recent flooding of the Yamuna river showed that the 22-kilometre stretch of the Yamuna flowing through Delhi is "no longer navigable" and overflowed every monsoon as its riverbed has become high and the river shallow.
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