The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court Friday ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to stop all construction activity along the banks of the river Gomti here.
A division bench of Justice D.P. Singh and Justice Y.K. Sangal told the government to promptly suspend all construction activity within 100 metres of the river bed. It was hearing a public interest lawsuit by a local activist, seeking the court’s intervention to restrain the administration from indulging in unabated construction even on the river bed.
The order is likely to pose a stumbling block in the accomplishment of Chief Minister Mayawati’s dream projects, which were, at certain points, extending into the river bed.
The bench has also directed the union environment ministry to submit a detailed report on the issue within two months.
It has, however, allowed the administration to build a weir downstream as also to ‘chanelise’ an old storm water drain known as the Ghaziuddin Haider Canal that was being covered to make room for an amphitheatre adjacent to the river bank.
Even as the state’s chief standing counsel Devendra Upadhaya maintained that the amphitheatre was more than 110 metres away from the river bed, the petition alleged that a large part of the construction was being carried out on the river bed itself.
‘We are confident that the construction undertaken along the Gomti river banks, as part of the river-front beautification drive, was well above 100 metres from the river bed,’