Sunday, July 24, 2011

PUDA for colony by dry lake, NGO says revive it

Ludhiana The controversy over raising a colony on 8 acres of land in the vicinity of the Badha Lake continues to simmer. While the district administration and Punjab Urban development Authority (PUDA) are firm about using the area to develop a colony on the banks of the dry lake to earn revenue, an NGO, Graduates Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF), has decided to move the High Court against the plan.

The deputy commissioner (DC) Kamal Kishore Yadav had earlier said that Badha Lake dried up many years ago and is not even a notified wetland now. However, a notification, issued in 1923, defining the urban limits of Fazilka had earmarked the entire area meant for Badha Lake and its banks as well.

Navdeep Asija, General Secretary (administration), GWAF, said, "We have sent a reply to the DC. We will be approaching the court as well because authorities are not listening to us."

"The logic that a lake has dried over the years and cannot be revived and instead concrete construction should be allowed on its banks is hard to understand. We had submitted a detailed plan with the district administration and the state government regarding revival of the lake in which water can be pumped into it from the river in Badha village," he added.

To hammer home his point, Asija said that farmers are more through pisciculture than they do by following conventional farming. "The revival of the lake will help us preserve our heritage and we can contribute for the cause of environment as well," he added.

The GWAF plan can get some unlikely support from a Punjab State Science and Technology report, which states that the lake must revived. However, the DC has categorically stated that as of now, no revival plans are on the anvil.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) Chairman A.S. Pannu said that a team would conduct a study in the lake to check whether the proposed colony is following the environmental norms.

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