Delhi government pulled up for lacking long-term plans for problems

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Pulling up the city government for lacking a long-term plan to tackle problems like water-logging and sanitation, the Delhi High Court Tuesday asked to examine re-location of unauthorised colonies if they were found impeding natural flow of water in drains.

A division bench of Chief Justice C.V. Ramana and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog also observed that it appears that nobody in the government has a clue to the way forward.

"This explains grandiose promises, without any content, being made to the citizens of Delhi, who in their stupor, lap it up all when votes have to be cast. But when it comes to translating the promises into realities, we find clueless Governments," it added.

The bench also observed that the 2021 Master Plan of Delhi has overlooked drainage system of unauthorised colonies and asked the city government to include it in its new schemes.

Due to encroachments and unauthorised colonies, the drainage channels of city were blocked and thus caused heavy water-logging during the monsoon.

The bench suggested that relocation of unauthorised colonies should be considered if needed.

"We direct that while preparing the plan the expert body would include within its proposals the overall drainage system of unauthorised colonies and if need be, relocation of unauthorised colonies along the major drains if it is found that their existence chokes the natural flow of water in the 17 major drains in Delhi," the judgment said.

"Accordingly, we issue the direction that the Committee tasked with the functions...would expeditiously submit a report which shall be placed before this court on March 26, 2014."

A drainage scheme was prepared by an Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi-headed expert committee, set up by the government to control water-logging during the monsoons.

The court said that from the scheme, it is apparent that the government is aware of the fact that the existing drainage system in the city has inherent deficiencies in the system.

It also said that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is charged with the duty of planned development of the city, has totally failed in carrying out its objective.

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