HC directs Govt to free lakes of encroachments in six months
At a time when the water bodies across the state are being affected negatively by factors like encroachments, the high court of Uttarakhand has directed that the lakes in the state should be freed of encroachments within six months. According to the case details, resident of Ruhalki Dayalpur in Bhagwanpur, Haridwar, ex-serviceman Kunwar Pal Singh had written a letter to the chief justice of the high court in 2011. In his letter, he had complained about encroachments in lakes leading to lowering of the ground water level. Taking cognisance of this letter, the high court took it up as a public interest litigation. The petitioner had stated that there were small ponds and water bodies in Bhagwanpur but these had been encroached upon. This in turn had led to a drop in the ground water level in the area.
On Wednesday, the high court division bench of justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Lok Pal Singh directed the state government to free all the lakes and ponds in the state of encroachment within six months. In encroachments on the shores of the lakes have been entered wrongly in government documents then these entries should be rectified. These water bodies should be restored to the condition existing before the 1951 settlement and enactment of the Zamindari Abolition Act, the high court directed.
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