‘Yamuna Satyagrahis’ asked to vacate land

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Campaigners standing guard at the river Yamuna’s banks for over 500 days have been issued marching orders by the Public Works Department. Known as the “Yamuna Satyagrahis”, these campaigners have been seeking a ban on all construction activity on the Yamuna floodplains.

Shielded by a mere canopy behind Akshardham Temple, the Satyagrahis have been served a notice to vacate the site within the next two days. Infuriated by the orders, the Satyagrahis have now written to the Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna seeking relief. “When we went to the PWD office, we were told that the notice has been served on the basis of an order from the L-G’s office. We have now written to him, urging him to revoke the orders,” said Pritam Singh a Yamuna Satyagrahi. He went on to add: “We have never given anyone any reason for complaint. We have been peacefully camping here and campaigning for the preservation of the river and its floodplains. The Satyagrahis have decided not to leave the Sthal.”

The L-G’s office, however, maintained that the land owning agencies have decided to serve the notice based on the inputs of the law and order enforcers. “The place (the floodplains) has four vulnerable spots that call for strict security enforcement. There is the upcoming Games Village, which needs foolproof security; there is the Akshardham temple, water pipelines of the Delhi Jal Board and the NH 24 itself. The eviction notice is in keeping with the security requirement of these sensitive installations,” said Ranjan Mukherjee, Officer on Special Duty to the LG.

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