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On Hardoi Rd, green cover sees red light

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  • Shaji John K
    On Hardoi Rd, green cover sees red light Brick kiln workers eat into over 6 acres of the 20-acre green stretch in Pucca Bagh Asit Srivastava Lucknow, June 30:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2006
      On Hardoi Rd, green cover sees red light
      Brick kiln workers eat into over 6 acres of the 20-acre green stretch
      in Pucca Bagh
      Asit Srivastava

      Lucknow, June 30: DESPITE a recent court order asking authorities
      (read LDA) to ensure the city's green belts stay just that — green
      belts — more than a third of the green cover on Hardoi Road is under
      threat from encroachment.

      There are nearly 20 acres of green cover near Pucca Bagh in the area,
      but illegal structures — both temporary and permanent — have eaten
      into more than six acres. From makeshift set-ups, to thatched houses,
      right down to one- and two-room `pucca' houses — it's all there,
      nudging at the shrinking green cover.

      Though most of the locals are ware of the area's status as a green
      belt, Pucca Bagh's seclusion — it lies on the city's outskirts — the
      concerned authorities seldom visit the locality to check out the
      depletion.

      ``We are living here for eight months now," said Suneeta Kumari, who
      has a small house on a 400-metre area, "but since then none has come
      here to inquire about it.''

      In proximity to her house lie 20 or 25 similar `establishments', and
      many owners of these places are aware that they are dwelling on
      illegal land. Shiv Kumar is one such resident; he knows his is an
      unauthorised house on the green belt but gave a `reason' for the
      encroachment: ``Many of those who live here work in the brick kilns.
      It was an arduous daily journey earlier, so the workers thought of
      making houses close to the kiln."

      In fact, most structures in the green belt belong to the kiln workers,
      Kumar said.

      The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court's order a few days ago —
      that areas under green belt should not be used for any other purpose —
      recognised the need to save the green belt in Gomti Nagar. The orders
      were passed following a Public Interest Litigation filed by an
      advocate, B K Singh.

      ``If the Lucknow Development Authority surveys the total green zone of
      the city we will find hundreds of hectares of green belt is now used
      for construction," Singh said.

      LDA secretary Ram Bilas Yadav, meanwhile, said: "We will take adequate
      steps to check depletion of the green cover not only in this locality
      (Pucca Bagh on Hardoi Road) but in the entire city.''
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