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Protect Hills-Lakes-Rivers Eco-regime

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Hills-lake eco-regime is an important constituent in the sustainability of all the water based habitats  by way of reinforcing and synergizing the geo-hydrological balance and well as the sub-surface hydrology.  Many cities and towns of Rajsthan are surrounded by layers of beautiful hills and the hills have naturally helped in creating lake and river eco  systems . Any unwarranted disturbance in the naturally delicate balance in the Hill-lake eco-regime is bound to have grave implications not only to the present ecological and environmental situation but also the future prospects of the whole area. 

In this reference, your kind attention is invited to the judgment passed by Main seat of the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court on January 12, 2017 in PIL No 1554/2004 as well many other judgments and order passed by the Apex Court in  M.K. Balakrishnan v. Union of India, W.P. (C) No. 230/2001 for conservation of wetlands, Civil Writ No 202/95 , T N Godavarman v/s Union of India regarding forest lands, and the direction of the  Hon’ble  high Court in Abdul Rehman case (Abdul Rahman v. State”, 2005 RRT 59) regarding  restoration of catchment areas of rivers, ponds, lakes, water bodies etc. The Hon’ble courts have time and again, unequivocally, directed that the water bodies and hills be conserved for maintaining healthy ecological balance.

To the utter dismay and surprise of the undersigned, despite so many orders and judgments as mentioned above, to name a few, the catchment areas of various lakes  and reservoirs in the state of Rajasthan  are being brazenly disturbed, defaced and their natural gradient being obstructed and altered in utter disregard and clear violation. There is rampant illegal construction even on the steep ascends of the hills. For example-  In the Urban agglomeration limit of Udaipur, various hotels, resorts, big residential complexes and farm houses are being constructed while cutting, mutilating and defacing the hills.  (e.g--The cruel defacing of many hills is still continuing on the golf course, in the immediate catchment of Fatehsagar Lake and at many more places in the drainage basin of Udaipur Lakes)

There is no gainsaying that the health of lakes and rivers are  directly connected with the existence of hills and encroachment free catchment area. The existence, survival and sustainability of water bodies and their delicately balanced aqua-ecosystem do not hold a bright future if the hills which form the catchment of these water bodies are not properly and scientifically managed. 

What seems to more perplexing is the fact that despite the above anomalies and dereliction in implementation of the orders and direction of the Hon’ble courts being brought to the notice of those who are responsible, through media and other fora, nothing effective and substantive seems to be happening on ground.  The degradation, defacement and denudation of the Hill-lake eco-regime continues unabated , contrary to the provisions of the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution, giving an impression of utter disrespect and contempt of the orders of the Honorable Courts. Further, this also is indicative of the level of insensitivity and non-responsiveness of the executive towards the welfare of the society and citizens.

In view of the above, it is earnestly requested that appropriate measures and steps be immediately enforced to ensure strict and timely compliance of the orders and directions as mentioned hereinabove and all such activities that are detrimental to the natural shape and size of the hills and fine Hill-lake eco-regime balance are stopped forthwith. Further, all necessary proactive actions are initiated immediately so that the court orders related to conservation of catchment, water bodies, hills and other public facilities are complied in letter and spirit. Besides, also ensure that no construction permission or approval of building plans is accorded in defiance of the judgements of the hon’ble high court.

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