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960 hectares of Yamuna floodplain taken over by squatters: Monitoring panel | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Almost 959 hectares of Yamuna’s floodplain is presently encroached on and must be secured by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the ultimate report by Yamuna Monitoring Committee to National Green Tribunal (NGT) has acknowledged.
The tenure of the committee, which was fashioned by NGT to supervise the rejuvenation of the river, acquired over on June 29.
Its ultimate report acknowledged that an space of 954.24 hectares was encroached on or in agricultural use, whereas one other 5.26 hectares was presently below litigation.
It added that the Millennium Park bus depot, which was below the Supreme Court and NGT’s scanner, was certainly part of the river’s “O” zone the place building and industrial exercise was prohibited.
From 2018 until September 2019, DDA cleared 352.36 hectares from encroachment, however a bigger tract was but to be reclaimed. Another 279.23 hectares was, in the meantime, transferred to the forest department for plantation functions. “A considerable portion of the reclaimed land is related to 10 projects being undertaken by DDA. While this has been achieved, a much larger tract remains to be reclaimed,” stated the report.
“DDA has stated that the encroached area is proposed to be vacated when the implementation of the projects starts, as has been done previously. The committee feels this is only a means of parrying what was directed to be done by NGT. With delays in project execution, which DDA itself has referred to repeatedly, and non-availability of labour, the timelines for commencement of all projects and their completion appear to be quite elastic. To allow private agriculturists to continue to use publicly owned land doesn’t appear to be defensible,” the report added.
Talking in regards to the Millennium Park bus depot, the report stated, “There is no convincing documentation or other kinds of evidence advanced by DDA or DTC to show that this is not an integral part of the floodplain. The argument made that no other land was available is not acceptable. The pressure being mounted to support change of land use seems to rest on tenuous arguments and mere references of meetings, minutes and affidavits. They are not enough to make the committee conclude that the land is outside the “O” zone of the floodplain or that its use as a bus depot is an pressing necessity due to the upcoming arrival of recent buses in 2021 and 2022.”
The committee additionally noticed that a lot of the demarcation of the floodplain solely existed on blueprints and maps, however there have been no bodily landmarks on the bottom that would act as a deterrent to encroachers. “The occasional signage boards that had been erected were mostly dilapidated and rusted at most places. They were not acting as a deterrent to prevent encroachment or pollution and the fact that violation would lead to no punitive action was widely known,” acknowledged the report.
It added that 591 bollards manufactured from cement had been erected on the floodplain, whereas a young for putting in signage had additionally been awarded.
“The whole exercise of demarcating the floodplain with boundary pillars would be rendered futile if DDA doesn’t reclaim the land. NGT may consider giving the new vice-chairman three months to review the status of all pockets of land that are not under litigation and prepare a detailed action plan to retrieve the land and to either hand it to the forest department or take up plantation,” stated the committee.

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