Allahabad / Vrindavan, 2016.10.20 (VT): The Allahabad High Court on Thursday granted injunction on laying the sewer pipeline on Yamuna bank, and restrained the government to release any drainage or sewer water in the Yamuna. A two judge bench, headed by the Chief Justice Shri Dilip B Bhosle and Justice Shri Yashwant Varma was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by Shri Madhumangal Sharan Das Shukla, a Senior member of the Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance, seeking a stay on the laying of a sewer line in the river bed and building new ghats adjacent to the ancient heritage ghats.
Petitioner’s counsel s Shri Anuruddh Chaturvedi and Shri K.M. Tripathi, appeared before the court and urged to impose a stay on the ongoing work and that was granted. In its particular order the court said, “In the meanwhile, we direct all the respondents to ensure that work of laying drainage pipeline shall not be carried out on the bank of river and in any case, no drainage water shall be released in the said river.” Now the matter will come up for hearing again on November 28.Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Nagar Palika Parishad, respondents in the case, submitted their replies, ASI stated that it had got an FIR registered against the contractor of UP’s irrigation and water resourced department in June for carrying out illegal construction work at this heritage ghats near Jugal Kishore temple, a centrally protected monument. Subsequently, the department also informed its headquarters in Delhi about the matter in August. On September, 20 ASI director general wrote to the UP government contractor to remove the unauthorized construction from the Keshi Ghat within seven days. A demolition order had also been issued, the ASI added.
Earlier, during its first hearing of the case on 6th October, the court granted more time to Central government and various departments’ o f the state government to file their replies by the following date of hearing, the high court directed the Mathura district administration to ensure that no damage is done to the heritage ghats of Vrindavan.
Another bench of two judges headed by Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Sunita Agarwal observed, “There are serious allegation in the matter of unauthorized construction / damagedly work on the ancient Ghats at the bank of river Yamuna includeing its floodplain. We only provide that the district magistrate shall ensure that no uncalled for construction work is raised on the existing ghats, in any manner.”
It should be noted that the Uttar Pradesh government proposed a River Front Development Project under which a beautification project on the Yamuna bank in Vrindavan was undertaken. The Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance has been critical to this project right from the beginning and its delegation met several district officials to lodge a protest against it.
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