HC seeks reply from Environment Ministry on PIL against Varanasi project

HC seeks reply from Environment Ministry on PIL against Varanasi project

Allahabad: Allahabad High Court on Monday sought a reply from the Union Ministry for Environment and Varanasi Jal Nigam on a petition challenging proposed beautification of "Assi Ghat", a fabled pilgrimage and tourist spot in the holy city.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Arun Tandon passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Varanasi-based NGO Kautilya Society wherein it was alleged that the proposed project would violate an earlier High Court directive that there should be no construction within a distance of 200 metres from the bank of the Ganges in any of the cities situated along the river across Uttar Pradesh.

In the PIL, it has been stated that promenades, bathing ghats, toilets and other public amenities were to be constructed close to the river as part of the proposed project which has been approved by the Union Environment Ministry.

Fixing September 2 as the next date of hearing, the court asked the Ministry as well as the Jal Nigam to state in their respective counter affidavits as to whether guideline of no-construction within 200 metres from the river bank was being followed under the proposed project.

PTI

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