Activists cry foul against blue line encroachers in Nashik

Nashik : Many activists in Nashik have trained guns on the enchroachements along the blue line. These structures are reportedly violating the norms set by the Bombay High Court, they claimed.
The activists said the Bombay high court (HC) had forbidden such constructions, while the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has submitted some guidelines on blue and red lines to the HC.

Rajesh Pandit, a petitioner of the river pollution case, said, “The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) is demolishing or clearing encroachments throughout the city. Even unauthorised shrines are also being demolished. But there is no action on the along the blue line. We are not talking about gaothan area. During the August flood, a restaurant on Gangapur Road near Goda Park was destroyed completely. It has been reconstructed. The NMC should have served notice to the owner, rather it seems that permission was granted for the construction. Many houses, those near Asarambapu bridge and other non-gaothan areas, are on red line.”

He said the Bombay High Court had ordered that there should not be any construction along the blue line and it was against the law. “All encroachments along the blue line should be removed as per law formulated in 1989-90. Whatever constructions came up after that should be removed. If the NMC demarcated the blue and red lines in 2008, it is their problem,” said Pandit.

The white line of the flood line is the actual flow of river, while the blue line is the areas affected by the highest flood in 25 years. The red line is the areas affected by the highest flood in 100 years. NEERI had also sought proper demarcation of red and blue lines and took a strong stand against construction of intersecting drainage lines between the white and blue lines.
“NEERI had opposed any construction along the blue line of the river and its tributaries. The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Western Zone, Pune had asked the Pune Municipal Corporation to remove the crematorium as it was on the flood line,” Pandit said.

When contacted, municipal commissioner Abhishek Krishna said he would inquire with the town planning officials. “Wherever there are new constructions that are against the law, they will be brought down. But the particular patch of land where the restaurant is constructed comes under Chandsi village and permission was granted by the village panchayat in 2005,” he said.