The Supreme Court has stayed Uttarakhand high court’s order banning any construction within a radius of 2 km from major lakes in Nainital, including Naini lake. The apex court’s order on Monday drew mixed reactions from various quarters. While environmentalists said that the stay would allow illegal construction near lakes to continue, residents said that a blanket ban would not be feasible.
The Uttarakhand high court in November 2016 had imposed a blanket ban on any construction within 2 km from major lakes in Nainital. The apex court’s order staying the ban has come as relief to residents whose houses fall in this radius. An appeal was filed against the high court order by Regan Gupta, a resident of Bhimtal in Nainital district, stating that due to the blanket ban residents of the area were being deprived of their basic rights. In his petition, Gupta said, “We are not able to reconstruct broken houses. Even the tourism industry has taken a hit due to this ban.”
Alok Sah, a resident of Nainital, added,“Blanket ban on construction is not a solution. What will we do if there is a blanket ban on construction and we need to fix the roof of our house or something else? A mechanism to check illegal construction should be brought in place instead of harassing residents.”
Ajay Singh Rawat, environmentalist and former head of the history department of Kumaun University, told TOI, “The residents are relieved by the stay order of the Supreme Court since they can now renovate their houses. But it is upon the government to ensure that illegal construction is dealt with strictly.”
Credit : TimesOfIndia
Article Date : 24/01/2018: THE TIMES OF INDIA : DEHRADUN