MP high court issues notices to water resources ministries, others
The Madhya Pradesh high court on Thursday issued show cause notices to Union and state water resources ministries and various other departments to explain the irregularities pointed out in the public interest litigation (PIL) filed against diverting Khan River and linking it to Kshipra in Ujjain.
The Indore Bench of MP high court, headed by Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice DK Paliwal, admitted the PIL and issued show cause notices to seven respondents including pollution control board, and Simhastha mela pradhikaran. The government is planning to complete the first phase of the project before Simhastha 2016 in Ujjain.
The PIL pointed out that the Rs. 2,719 crore Khan river diversion project violates the Constitutional Right of Property preserved under article 300A of more than 100 farmers and would affect about 50 hectares of private arable land and 50 hectares of government land.
The Madhya Pradesh government had recently sped up the work of Khan-Kshipra River linking project and has started digging land for laying huge pipelines in village Ragho Pipliya in Ujjain tehsil.
However, the work has been stalled by agitated farmers of the village on December 1, 2014. A 19.5 kilometer-long pipeline laid 12 meter below the ground level was proposed for diverting and linking Khan River into Kshipra River near Ujjain.
The PIL, filed by social worker and advocate Satyanarayana Purohit, pointed out that the government did not take consent of the farmers before starting to execute its plans.
“The government did not issue any notices to farmers; this would affect the arability of land and the crops sown this season,” Purohit told HT. Advocate PK Shukla said, “The government has given contracts for diversion of the river neglecting the interests of farmers and slum dwellers who would be affected due to this.” It has violated land acquisition norms laid out by center before starting the work, he added.
Government counsel Manoj Dwivedi said, “The river linking project was proposed in public interest.”