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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Environment emergency: Supreme Court and NGT should order immediate removal of all encroachments from footpaths and roads in Delhi


MADHU AGRAWAL
(Guinness Record Holder for letters in Newspapers)

Emergency steps are being taken to curb unprecedented environmental damage to climate of capital city of Delhi which has since reached alarming level. But unfortunately no authority has so far noted one of the biggest causes of environmental damage due to large-scale encroachments on footpaths and roads especially in old city leading to traffic jams with emission of polluting gases from vehicles stuck in these jams. Roads, footpaths, bridges built at huge cost are wide enough to bear traffic-rush. But multiple layers of encroachers on public land suddenly emerged in last some years, has left only a small part of usable roads with even pedestrians forced to walk on roads with footpaths completely chocked with encroachers. Some religious institutions also take it as some privileged right to disobey courts’ orders to clear encroached footpaths.

Since authorities do not have courage and will-power to act against law-breaking encroachers having looted costly public land, it is for Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT) to pass strict orders for ensuring immediate and instant removal of all encroachments from roads and footpaths all over the city. Likewise there should be complete break on any new jhuggie-clusters all illegal constructions including converting existing jhuggies into houses/shops. Unfortunately law-abiding citizens face harassments, while law-breaking encroachers get shelter under vote-bank politics.

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