Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SC committee sends notice to chief secretary

Hindustan Times, Bathinda Edition, Page 2
Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar,


Social activist had moved panel, citing irregularities

FEROZEPUR: The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court, dealing with forest and wildlife, has sent the third notice to the Punjab chief secretary on the Punjab Urban and Planning Development Authority (PUDA) flouting environment norms while proposing a residential 

This was informed by Navdeep Asija, a social activist, who had filed a complaint to the CEC and pointed out the irregularities, mainly ignoring of the report filed by the district forest officer, apprehending damage to environment and biodiversity of the region if they cut the 400 old trees to construct 56 residential plots on the banks of Badha lake.

The CEC has already sent two notices to the chief secretary, but no reply was allegedly given.
Asija said he apprehended that while PUDA had already asked the allottees to deposit the remaining amount, it might go in for cutting of trees in order to give possession to the allottees before the next hearing of the case in the apex court on July 8.
He said he had raised the matter with the CEC following which its member MK Jiwrajka issued the notice to the chief secretary and sought his reply.

The document on the disaster management plan of Ferozepur district in 2010 (earlier Fazilka was part of Ferozepur district) clearly indicated that Badha wetland area is a flood-prone area and the bundh, where the colony was proposed, acted as a safeguard to the town against floods during monsoon; however, after the formation of Fazilka as the new district, no such plans were made available to the public, he said.
"It is clear that PUDA is doing this to favour the land mafia, as the colony would increase the prices of the nearby agricultural land," claimed Asija.

The authorities responsible for the development of the town had proposed the restoration of the water bodies of Badha lake as part of its master plan, but PUDA allegedly sought no approval from the authorities concerned. "It seems the government instead of talking about providing a healthy environment to its citizens is acting more like a property dealer. I have complete faith in the judiciary and will continue my fight," said Asija.

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