Court stays Delhi plan to turn marshland into housing site

April 20th, 2009 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday stayed a state government plan to convert two water bodies into land for residential projects in Jahangirpuri here.
Hearing a petition filed by voluntary organisation Tapas, Justices Mukul Mudgal and Vipin Sanghi stayed the order of Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta that said “the marshland in Jahangirpuri cannot be termed as a water body and the same shall be considered as per the land use plan of Master Plan Delhi 2021″.

The petition alleged that the state government wanted to convert one of the largest water bodies in north Delhi into a concrete jungle for residential purposes.

The state committee on water bodies headed by Mehta last year maintained that in the government’s revenue record nearly 100 of the 300 acre marshland in Jahangirpuri was “never a water body but ‘banjar kadim’ (land not fit for cultivation)”.

Taking exception, the court said, “The scope of authority vested in the chief secretary, as part of the nodal agency, is to make efforts for revival of water bodies. Prima facie, the scope of his authority did not include determining whether a particular water body exists or not.”

The court also issued a notice to the Delhi government to respond by the first week of May.

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