Article by: Dr. Jayshree Singh – Senior Faculty, BN College
Outcomes of the recent Rajasthan High Court’s Verdict
Rajasthan’s High Court judgment, that all the constructed sites, houses, lands, plots, complexes, companies under the ‘no construction zone’ are to be demolished by UIT and Municipal Council at the district level within the period of seven days, has have serious repercussions.
It has indeed developed concerns among the environmental working jurisdiction that conserves land and water, and at the same time it has evoked the sense of consciousness for the pristine beauty of Udaipur’s lakes.
But the way the judgment is applied in Udaipur, has destroyed the peace among Udaipur’s hotel industry, which is generating opportunities of employment and many sources of livelihood.
Secondly, it is compelling 5000 people to apply for writ and to pay heavy fee to the big lawyers for petitions against the judgment of High Court of Rajasthan. Out of these, 73 families have been served notice by UIT and many will suffer for not being able to question the verdict.
Many are in chaos due to the impending destruction of their constructed houses, many have gone into depression and many have decided, not to celebrate any upcoming festival. Many are blamed for their gullibility and many for being responsible to get the sites registered and getting loans sanctioned.
Those who prepared themselves to go for petition have become the scapegoats for the government to fight the case. State government and the district administration are simply in delusion that this judgment is a scarecrow for the rest and for the further proceedings if happened legally or illegally.
The finances that the different groups of people in Udaipur are putting in, are to file their petitions, and then to cover the cost of travelling to Jaipur, then to Jodhpur High Court and finally to New Delhi’s Supreme Court. This has no end as the whole thing is politicized so that government and administration can divert the sense of their misdoings, wrong planning and mistakes in following natural sources property rights.
Politicizing the design and decision
It is the town planning organizers, along with Municipal Council, who are at default for contamination of Udaipur’s lakes and beauty. They have hidden the facts about the poor and old quality of sewerage or drainage system that exhausts polluted water out of these buildings into the water which percolates back into the soil or flows into the lakes.
They are supposed to shell out the penalty of the irresponsible system that they spread among the administration and it is because of their sluggishness that the authorities involve in sanctions/registry.
The buyers and builders, the laborers and the employees, the proprietors and the hoteliers – these are the people who are working for business or for livelihood. The loans that they have borrowed to construct, the laborers that they have hired to build, the employees that they have kept to run their hotels are not in any way responsible to destroy the lakes’ water and nature.
Why did the Municipal Council not systematize its planning of the city long back? Why did it allow the no construction land zone to be registered even after 1997 and allotted long back before 1997 for plots? And why did the administration not counter the planners then?
Inappropriateness of the stakeholders
Why do the conservationists need to go to court?
It is because they are granted permission to follow natural resources protection plans, but they are short of protecting natural resources due to population explosion and red-tapeism in the system and they themselves are among those channels that are in the planning of the city at present, but not in the system of the past/ they are not at power positions to stop directly the further sales and purchase deeds of the land or to stop the sanctioning of loans or to withhold the registry of the plots/lands/sites around the lake.
Had the conservationists countered the Town Planners and municipal administration to pay the penalty to the state government for the loss, then it would have been the real victory for them.
They saved the Council, planners and policy makers, and attacked the people who encouraged tourism, employment and labor work.
The district administration’s and conservationists’ one-sided attitude and their nexus have caused conflict among the economists, planners, and environmentalists. It is the state and district administration and town planners’ duty to protect nature and human, it is not the common mass/economists that trespass or encroach, it is the state policy that allows such impeachment of laws and finally all responsibility is shrugged off by them.
Overcome the wastage of economy/energy/enthusiasm
This is simply wastage of money, energy and enthusiasm, just as it is simply the wastage of natural resources. The common sense on the part of high court, administration, government should prevail in this matter.
Subsequently they are destroying the common sense of the citizens and of those who did not and do not know that this kind of misjudgment can create confusion in place of capacity building of the lakes and natural resources property rights.
If government really intends to protect and conserve these natural resources, then the money required for applying petitions should be used in a constructive manner. Amount required for the construction of the proper drainage, sewage and seepage plants for each constructed site/house should be evaluated and an amount as per the capacity of the site must be charged from every household/company/institute/complex.
Expand the alternatives or protect the present condition
To maintain Udaipur city as tourist destination conservationist should look after it with the money granted by the government, not by asking the court to destroy hotels and other buildings.
Just reexamine what has happened? What needs to be done is to reorganize the cleanliness and drainage system and that conservationist should plan with the town planners and government should give finance and liberty to conservationists to do so.
The correct path is to streamline the system within the availability and to emancipate the wrong ones by giving counseling, right ways to protect the life and opportunity.
Without examining the ramifications and repercussions, these judgments are going to increase petty issues of instability and row in the peace of the city. It would misguide debates, discussions, youth empowerment, active citizenship etc.
Review of the consciousness for investments
The hotels constructed at the shore of sea/ocean in Tenerife Norte, Spain (visited last year in November) have arrangement of drainage, sewerage and seepage.
Why the Indian government, state government, conservationists, and the local administration hide their mutual coordination and divert their anger and corrupt sensitivities on the builders, masses, and citizens.
Why do the natives suffer? They are already paying tax for their houses, loans, buildings, hotels? Where is that money invested by the state and local administration?
Without examining the ramifications and repercussions, these judgments are going to increase petty issues of instability and hamper the peace of the city. It would misguide debates, discussions, youth empowerment, active citizenship etc.
The question is how to go back into past records, what will happen even if we go back to the previous sanctions? Once the building/house is demolished or the public servant is punished, it would not retrieve peace and sustain the conservation of lakes. So, there is a need to bring new ideology for reformation of laws i.e. to collect funds for the plants to protect underground degeneration of water and soil.