Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PUDA COLONY IN VIOLATION OF NORMS?: PUDA authorities directed to produce revenue record

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, October 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while hearing the civil writ petition today challenging the carving out of the proposed PUDA colony in Fazilka in the Badha Lake Wetland flouting the environmental norms, has directed the PUDA authorities to produce the revenue record before the court.

The court has directed the PUDA counsel to reply with 'Khasra' plan details on the next date of hearing on October 18.

The petitioner Navdeep Asija, general secretary, Graduate Welfare Association, Fazilka, (GWAF), who was present in the court, said the acting chief justice, while taking serious note of the reply of the PUDA counsel that 'there is not even a single drop of water in the extinct Badha lake' in Fazilka where the PUDA has proposed to carved out a colony, brushed aside the plea and said it is a concern related to environment health and biodiversity of the area.

As per Asija, the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, has in its affidavit today admitted that preservation of Badha lake in Fazilka is as important as other lakes in the state.

The Council also informed the PUDA authorities to take the necessary approval from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) before moving ahead with the plan for the colony.

Notably, the Punjab Pollution Control Board is the nodal agency under the state wetland authority and responsible for preservation of the wetlands in the state.

Asija said reply by the Town and Country Planning Department also indicates that before proposing the colony, no such approval has been taken from the departments concerned.

As per the information, 552 applicants have applied for 56 residential plots in the proposed colony and have deposited around Rs 6.5 crores as the earnest money so far.

The fate of a large number of plot seekers has been at stake after the filing of the writ petition in the court.

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