Delhi HC Orders DDA to Clear Encroachments from Yamuna River

Yamuna river

The Delhi High Court recently directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to remove all encroachments and illegal constructions from the Yamuna riverbank, riverbed, and the drains flowing into the river.

A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela appointed the DDA Vice Chairman as the nodal officer to coordinate with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Police, Delhi Metro, and other authorities to address the encroachments on the Yamuna.

“He is also appointed as the Nodal Officer and shall coordinate with officials of MCD, Delhi Police, DMRC, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, PWD, Delhi Pollution Control Board, and Forest Department. The Vice Chairman, DDA shall convene a meeting of all the concerned officials within a week… The Vice Chairman, DDA is directed to file an Action Taken Report within six weeks,” the bench stated.

The matter is scheduled to be reviewed on September 9 to assess whether the Court’s order has been implemented.

The division bench passed the order in response to a plea filed by Shabnam Burney, who sought the demolition of illegal constructions on the Yamuna riverbank and requested measures to prevent further encroachments on the riverbank and floodplains.

Counsel for the government authorities informed the court that the floodplain area is a prohibited activity zone and a critical component of the river ecosystem. They acknowledged that encroachments in this area lead to water diversion, causing floods in adjacent regions.

Many experts believe that the floods in Delhi are manmade, primarily due to encroachments on drains, riverbanks, and riverbeds, which restrict the flow of water to and within the Yamuna.

After considering the case, the High Court issued directives for the removal of all encroachments from the Yamuna river and its surrounding areas.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte