A National Green tribunal (NGT) bench, headed by justice Jawad Rahim, on July 12, 2017, restrained the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from carrying out any construction activity on five artificial lakes in Qutab Golf Course in south Delhi. The order came, after the DDA failed to file its reply on an NGO’s plea, alleging that concretisation of the lake would hinder recharge of the ground water in the Lado Sarai area.
Advocates Arun Monga and Divya Sharma, appearing for the NGO, sought an urgent stay on the construction activities, saying that the DDA has not filed its reply despite ample opportunities. They claimed that the construction of the artificial lakes was going on in full swing and was being undertaken despite the matter being sub-judice.
The direction of the green panel, which fixed the matter for hearing on August 8, 2017, came during the hearing of the plea by NGO CHETNA, seeking a stay on such construction activity and asking the DDA to place on record the source of water that is intended to be used for the lakes.
“The creation of the said lakes in an unscientific manner, without any technical consultation by ground water experts, would lead to an unsustainable water body, which will eventually die its own death. The stagnation of water therein, will lead to breeding of mosquitoes, which in turn will lead to the prevalence of diseases like dengue, chikungunya and malaria,” the plea said.
The NGO claimed that due to insufficient rainfall in Delhi, the artificial water bodies proposed to be constructed, cannot possibly be filled up on a sustainable basis by rain water. The NGO said it had written a letter to the DDA and the chief secretary of Delhi government, informing them about the ongoing work to create five artificial lakes and requesting them to intervene and immediately stop the ‘ill-conceived project and criminal waste of public money’. “However, there has been no response to the said letters till date and the applicant is constrained to approach this tribunal,” the plea said.