Ranchi district administration has undertaken a massive drive to demolish pucca structures illegally constructed by encroaching land of waterbodies like rivers, lakes and ponds.
The district administration woke up to safeguard water bodies after the Jharkhand High court severely reprimanded the administration for its failure to protect water bodies.
On Tuesday, Ranchi district administration and Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) jointly carried drive and demolished as many as 10 houses constructed in the riverbed of the Harmu River.
However, initially local residents protested the demolition drive but the administration continued the drive stating that it will be continued till the encroached land is freed. In the first phase the drive was undertaken on the stretch between Katharkocha and Bandhu Nagar. RMC has already served notice to as many as 207 people who are alleged to have made constriction on the riverbed. Out of these 75 constructions have been declared illegal partially or completely and owners of such houses have already been asked to remove their structures. A fresh drive will be undertaken on Thursday to demolish such structures.
Ranchi DC Chhavi Ranjan and Ranchi municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar had held a meeting to discuss policies and approach to be taken to clear water bodies from encroachment. Any permanent or temporary structure constructed within 15 meters of the flowing path of the river will be considered illegal. RMC and district administration will also carry out a third party survey of the rivers flowing in Ranchi.
Other than rivers, Ranchi has a good number of reservoirs and lakes which are facing encroachment. These water bodies are the mainstay of the water supply of the state capital. For instance, the Kanke dam is shrinking day by day due to illegal construction in its catchment area.
The high court on several occasions have admonished RMC, urban development department and district administration for the pathetic condition of water bodies.
For instance, in September last year the bench of Justices Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice SN Prasad expressed displeasure over encroachment of the lake area of Ranchi lake and the lake dying a slow death due to pollution and waste disposal.