Amicus Curiae slams UT Admn for ‘not doing much to save Sukhna Lake’

Amicus Curiae (court's friend) Tanu Bedi, who was appointed in a case pertaining to restore the Sukhna Lake, slammed the UT Administration on Wednesday for not doing much to save the lake.

Bedi, by way of an application, informed a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain that in a reply of the Union of India it was mentioned that the lake was suffering due to neglect by the UT Administration.

The court was apprised that despite the lake being identified as a wetland in 1988, no efforts had been made till date to notify its catchment area.

"The map of catchment area (though now disputed by stake holders in real estate) itself is a result of high court's directions and not of the UT administration," read the application.

It was also submitted that in its affidavit dated February 1, 2010, the Administration mentioned that the total catchment area was 4,207 hectare. Though the affidavit gave the details of hilly catchment area with Haryana and UT Administration, it did not give details of agriculture and village area that was under the respective jurisdictions of Punjab, Haryana and UT Administration.

Bedi said that it was after her visit to the Kansal forest, she came to know for the first time the division of 895-hectare catchment area under agricultural land. According to records, Punjab has 277 hectare, Haryana 252 hectare and UT Chandigarh 366 hectare.

The bench was also informed that flood gates installed at the lake were old and leaked when it rained, and the administration was not doing enough to periodically service the gates and clean them.

Criticising the administration from conducting various studies, amicus curiae submitted that after spending money on one study conducted by SPACE, now the administration was spending public exchequer on another study that would be conducted by the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee.

... contd.

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