Construction in Sukhna’s Catchment Area

HC adjourns matter to December 11

CHANDIGARH: Kansal and Nayagaon residents did not get any relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court today also for the construction in the Sukhna Lake’s catchment area.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5

Kansal and Nayagaon residents did not get any relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court today also for the construction in the Sukhna Lake’s catchment area.

No less than 80 residents had moved the High Court mounting a challenge to demolition notice received for pulling down the construction.

The matter has been adjourned to Wednesday.

Appearing before the Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Rajiv Sharma, the counsel for the petitioners had submitted that their area had been included in the residential area in a master plan. As such, construction activity was permissible in their area.

The Punjab Government, during the course of hearing, submitted that Nayagaon’s master plan had been sanctioned and its areas were included as residential zone. It had submitted earlier also that any direction issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests was applicable to Chandigarh, but not Punjab. As such, objection could not be raised regarding construction activity in Nayagaon and Kansal areas.

Senior advocate and amicus curiae in the case, ML Sarin, on the other hand, had submitted that there was a stay on the construction activity in the Sukhna Lake’s catchment area. Yet, construction activity was on and required to be stopped.

The Supreme Court had earlier this month held that the Camelot project violated environmental norms. “Considering the distance of 123 metre from the northern side and 183 metre from the eastern side of the project in question from wildlife sanctuary, in our opinion, no such project can be allowed to come up in the area in question,” a three-Judge Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, adding, “Such projects cannot be permitted to come up within such a short distance from the wildlife sanctuary.”

The Bench – which also included Justice MR Shah and BR Gavai — said the project went against the permissible norms as it fell within the catchment area of Sukhna Lake. “The Court has to perform its duty in such a scenario when the authorities have failed to protect the wildlife sanctuary eco-¬sensitive zone.”

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