Delhi High Court has termed as “unacceptable” the presence of a polluted artificial lake in the space behind the 14th century Tughlaqabad Fort and sought a definite plan from the city government on how it intends to clean up its waters.
A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva left it to the Delhi government to hold a meeting of the persons concerned and come up with a plan while observing that nothing has happened so far since the issue was brought to its attention last year despite several directions by the court.
“Nothing is happening. Nobody wants to do anything. Is your government not interested in cleaning up the water? Water lying there is unacceptable,” the court said.
It also suggested that biotechnology be used to clean the water by setting up a bio-diversity park there, if land was not available for setting up a sewage treatment plant (STP) or sewage pumping station (SPS), even as it wondered why officials of DDA, DJB and Delhi government were not thinking about these methods.
As per Delhi Jal Board, it needs 2.5 acres of land to set up a STP and 0.5 acres for a SPS and it has written to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for the allotment of an appropriate site for the same.
The court gave Delhi government time till November 4 to submit its plan after holding a meeting of the persons concerned after it told the bench that it needs time to coordinate with DDA for devising a concrete plan.
It also asked DDA to consider providing land to DJB for either of the two alternatives, saying all the steps would go towards nurturing the forest present there and for maintaining it as a green belt as per the objective of Master Plan 2021.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Manoj Kumar who has claimed that there was a forested area near Tughlaqabad Fort on DDA land and local residents were running illegal factories using chemicals and their polluted, hazardous water was flowing into the forest which has created an “artificial lake”.
Animals, including monkeys, peacocks, deer and birds, were drinking the polluted water and dying in large numbers, claims Kumar’s petition.
( Source – PTI )