Length almost like travelling from Delhi to Kanyakumari: Supreme Court.
New Delhi: Over 2,200 kilometres of streets and footpaths have been encroached upon in the national capital, whose length is almost like travelling from here to Kanyakumari, the Supreme Court said on Friday, observing it reflected the magnitude of the problem.
Taking serious note of the massive encroachments on public lands in Delhi, it observed it was a “matter of great distress” that 2,280.43 kilometres of roads, streets and footpaths were encroached upon.
“You see the extent of encroachment ... You see how serious the problem is,” a bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed and asked the statutory authorities to take the matter seriously.
The observations came after the bench was informed that 844.33 kms, 811.01 kms and 601.2 kms of encroached roads and streets were cleared by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and those in South and East Delhi respectively as on August 31.
Similarly, 11 kms in the New Delhi Municipal Council and 12.44 kms of streets in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) area were cleared from encroachment. The bench then observed that over 2,200 kms of streets were encroached upon in Delhi and the length of road was “almost like travelling from the national capital to Kanyakumari.”
An advocate assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter said the encroachments were due to the inaction by the statutory authorities in Delhi.
The bench also dealt with issues relating to encroachment of forest land and water bodies here which was raised by the court-appointed monitoring committee in its report filed in the court.
The committee told the court that several water bodies in Delhi have dried up and encroached upon, which was a matter of grave concern.
The counsel, appearing for Delhi government, said they would file an affidavit giving full details of actions taken by its forest department to re-claim the encroached land and also by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on water bodies.