Saturday, August 13, 2011

HC issues notice to PUDA, govt over Badha Lake colony

FAZILKA: The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice to Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and the state government on a petition filed by a social activist from Fazilka, challenging the process of colonization of Badha Lake wetland in Fazilka, against environmental norms and violating Indus Water Treaty. PUDA plans to sell 8 acres of land in the vicinity of Badha Lake to set up a new colony. 

The division bench of the acting Chief Justice, Justice Adarsh Goel and Justice Rajesh Bindal, keeping in view the urgency of the matter as PUDA has already completed the required formalities to auction 56 residential plots in the proposed colony, issued notices. 

Navdeep Asija of an NGO Graduate Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF), had approached the high court, appealing its intervention, to direct PUDA to drop the proposal of planning a residential colony in the eco-sensitive area. It was contended by the council for the petitioner that in the view of the fact that Badha Lake wetland is a natural flood buffer created by nature provides natural shelter to the national bird peacock and is an overall area of importance in view of entire biodiversity and public health of the region. 

PUDA itself had ordered registration of criminal cases FIR against illegal colonizers in the area and at the same time itself being part of state government was sacrificing ecology and natural environment of an area for profit, stated the petition. 

The next court hearing is on August 25.

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