On basis on a PIL filed by two city-based NGOs, the state HC on Tuesday, restrained the state authorities from “disturbing or changing the use of any natural or artificial waterbodies within its jurisdiction.” The move comes after concrete jungles and rapid urbanization are evidently eating into water-spaces. Such landfills are not only harmful and hazardous, they also disturb the eco-balance.
On Tuesday, the bench of Justice Pardiwala and Justice Mehta issued notices to the concerned departments in the state government and also to the chief town planner. The plea was filed by NGOs Paryavaran Mitra and Ahinsa Mahasangh.
The NGOs’ petition also mandates that state authorities must publish a complete list of waterbodies with details such as depth and location, and demand that the same be annexed to the official gazette. ”Thus far, there is no provision to ensure that waterbodies are not damaged under the guise of town planning. My clients are concerned about the fate of the city five years from now,” shared advocate N.M. Kapadia on behalf of the petitioners. The NGOs have also included a plea for greater green cover in the state.
The PIL surmises that Gujarat has just two percent of the country’s water resources but five percent of the population. Added, the state’s location in the arid belt, puts pressure on man-made water sources. “These cannot be compromised at any cost,” the advocate added, pointing at the Vadodara encroachments, which came at the cost of a man-made lake.