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Mumbai river: HC orders eviction notices
August 31, 2005 16:41 IST
The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to serve eviction notices within 10 days to all illegal commercial units on the banks of Mithi river.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya, the bench of Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari and S J Vajifdar asked the civic body to hear affected parties in two weeks after serving the eviction notices.
The court's direction came on the basis of an action plan suggested by the petitioner for cleaning up the Mithi river. The court also asked the respondent to take steps to ensure a check on the daily discharge of waste and dumping activities while initiating action against the offenders.
They should also provide a proper garbage collection system to prevent citizens from dumping garbage into the river, the court said.
The bench further said the prevention of any new encroachments and industrial activities on the river bank should be ensured.
The BMC should also erect temporary latrines to prevent use of the river banks as a public toilet keeping in view Coastal Regulation Zone restrictions, the court said. The court further asked the BMC and Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board to file an affidavit on the work done so far in cleaning up the river.
The PIL alleged negligence on the part of respondents to deal with the pollution of Mithi river, which was the prime source of floods in the city in July. It also highlighted the lapses and omissions while dealing with illegal encroachment, which has reduced the river to a drain.
The respondents are the Maharashtra government, BMC, district collector, Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority, Central Pollution Control Board, Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board and the Airport Authority of India.
In the PIL, Somaiya asked that the Mithi river, which flows in the suburbs, should be made pollution-free so that people affected due to its flooding could lead a safe life.
The petitioner contended that it was the negligence on the part of the respondents on recommendations pertaining to the Mithi river that caused loss of lives, livelihood, property, health and hygiene to thousands of people living in the areas surrounding the river.
The lapses and omissions on the part of respondents in not dealing with several unauthorised units and encroachments have reduced the river to drain, leading to the fear of repetition of July 26 flooding incident, he added.