New Delhi, January 27
The Uttarakhand government is trying to mislead the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by denying the existence of beach camps on the banks of the Ganga despite a ban, Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), an NGO, claimed today.
The NGO, which has moved the green panel against “unregulated operation” of beach camps in Rishikesh, informed the Bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar that some camps were even involved in constructing semi-permanent structures on a tributary of the Ganga.
“An applicant visited the area on January 19 for verifying contents of the affidavit of the state government and found that several camps are set up on the beach of the Hamel river and also found two camps on the Ganga. The applicant also found that some of the camps are involved in the construction of semi-permanent structures on the riverbank in the form of tents,” said the NGO.
On January 18, the state had refuted allegations that beach camps were operational on the Kaudiyala-Rishikesh stretch.
The NGO said it inspected various sites to verify the statements made by the state government and found that several beach camps had “mushroomed” on the riverbank.
“The findings of the applicant clearly establish the fact that the state government is trying to mislead the NGT by filing an incorrect affidavit. The NGO has found several beach camps. The photographs already filed clearly show that semi-permanent structures are constructed in the form of beach camps on the banks of the Ganga and its tributary Hemal,” said the affidavit filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary.
The NGT had banned camping activities in the entire belt of Kaudiyala to Rishikesh till a regulatory regime comes into force but had permitted the adventure sport rafting. —PTI
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