Shimla, May 22
The HP High Court today directed the state authorities to ensure that there is no illegal dumping of muck in the Govind Sagar Lake and its feeding khuds/nallahs.
Fish yield affected
- The petitioner said the illegal dumping of muck in the reservoir had adversely effected the production of fish and fishermen were not being able to earn their livelihood
- As per a study by the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, the fish production has drastically reduced from 1492 metric ton in 2014 to 250 metric ton in 2022
- This drastic reduction in the fish production has badly affected the livelihood of more than 3,000 local families
Passing the restraining order, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh issued notice to the Secretary (Forest), Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Chief Conservator of Forest and DFO Bilaspur, Assistant Director Fisheries, Bilaspur, Project Director NHAI-PIU, Mandi and Gawar Kiratpur Nerchowk Highway Pvt Ltd, in the matter.
The court passed this order in a PIL filed by one Madan Lal highlighting the issue of illegal dumping of muck in the Govind Sagar Lake.
The petitioner has alleged that illegal muck dumping is being carried out in the Govind Sagar Lake while constructing the four-lane Kiratpur-Nerchowk NH. He has made various representations/complaints to the authorities, but to no avail.
The petitioner has submitted that Govind Sagar Lake reservoir, situated in Bilaspur and Una districts, has been named after 10th Sikh Guru. This lake being an important fisheries reserve of the state government is a home to about 51 species of fish.
The petitioner has submitted that a joint inspection committee consisting of eight members headed by Bilaspur SDM was formed by the DC. In its report, the committee has pointed out that there are 10-12 khuds near Govind Sagar Lake. It found that there is illegal dumping of muck in these khuds and the muck reaches Govind Sagar Lake due to which huge loss is being caused to the Fisheries Department and fishermen.
The court directed the state authorities to file its response and listed the matter for further hearing on June 12.
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