Ban imposed on the activities which may pollute the water of the lakes of Udaipur

Rajasthan High Court: On a writ filed in the public interest on the basis of a report published in English Newspaper “The Times of India (Jaipur Edition)” dated 08-10-2014 against the competent authorities as to why necessary directions should not be given to prohibit  immersion of idols, garlands, clothes, glitters, coconut shells etc. in the lakes of Fatehsagar and Pichhola in order to ensure cleanliness of the lakes, a division bench of Govind Mathur and Jaishree Thakur JJ., passed an order with immediate effect to protect the water of lakes situated in the city of Udaipur and its periphery including the lakes of Pichhola, Fatehsagar, Gordhan Sagar and Jana Sagar (Badi-ka-Talab) from pollution.

The Court rejected the contention of the learned counsel for the State P.S. Bhati that all necessary steps are being taken with the aid of Municipal Corporation, Udaipur and the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur to ensure cleanliness of the lakes concerned including proposal to provide alternative place for immersion of idols, garlands, coconut shells etc. The Court found that even after two months of passing of an earlier order by the court, no effective step has been taken by the respondent authorities to protect the lakes from pollution.

The Court while allowing some more time to the District Administration, Udaipur to implement its projects to clean the lakes effectively; passed following directions as interim measures:

  • imposed ban on all the activities which may pollute water of the lakes situated in the city of Udaipur e.g. immersion of idols, tajiyas, glitters, clothes, coconut shells, bamboos etc as well as bathing by using soap and washing clothes at the lakes, calling it “public nuisance” under Section 268 IPC.
  • imposed restriction on religious celebrations like “Ram Rewari”, “Navsamvatsar” and “Ashura” etc which may be organised at the banks of the lakes while observing that such celebrations may not cause pollution to the lakes.
  • directed the Municipal Corporation to clean the entire area after religious celebrations within a period of 12 hours.
  • that before organising any private or social function at the banks of the lakes, the private person or body will have to seek prior approval from the Collector, Udaipur, along with a cash security deposit of atleast Rs 10000/- to ensure cleaning of the area.
  • directed the Collector of Udaipur to avail an undertaking from the management of each and every Hotel, Guest House including Paying Guest House and the Restaurants situated at the banks of the lakes and within the periphery of 250 meters from the bank of lakes to the effect that they will not throw any kind of waste material (organic or inorganic) or even open flowing outlets in the lakes (failure of which may cause cancellation of their licence).
  • imposed complete ban on parking and washing of the vehicles on public Ghats situated at the banks of lakes and directed the District Administration to restrict movement of stray cattle on public Ghats situated at the banks of lakes. Suo Moto v. State of Rajasthan, 2015 SCC OnLine Raj 352, decided on 24-02-2015.

 

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