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Vadodara authorities "least concerned" about environmental destruction along Vishwamitri: Concerned citizens

By Our Representative
Several concerned citizens of Vadodara have said that the reply of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) regarding destruction of the environment along, in and around the city's Vishwamitri river is casual, trivial, and flippant even as responding to their letter dated November 16, 2018. The letter concerned the demolition, tree felling and clearing of vegetation, dumping of debris, discharge of untreated sewage, dredging, digging, filling, levelling, construction, etc. next to the river.
They said in a letter to senior Gujarat government and Government of India officials that the local authorities were least concerned with the orders of the Gujarat High Court, the National Green Tribunal (Western Bench), and the Supreme Court.
The letter had been signed by Rohit Prajapati, environmental activist; Dr Shishir R Raval, landscape architect; Dr Ranjitsinh Devkar, zoologist; Dr Deepa Gavali, wetland ecologist; Dr Jitendra Gavali, botanist; Neha Sarwate, urban planner; Shakti Bhatt, water resources expert; Dr Arjun Singh Mehta, biotechnologist; Dr Jayendra Lakhmapurkar, hydro-geologist; Hitarth Pandya, educationist; Rutvik Tank, civil engineer; Dhara Patel, landscape architect; and Taniya Vaidya, artist.
The VMC reply in Gujarati merely directed officials concerned to closely examine Vadodara citizens' complaint. Calling to nothing but "passing of the buck as well as of time", the letter states, "It is an indication of the nonchalant or 'go-slow' attitude of the concerned VMC officers, indirectly including the Commissioner."
It adds, however, "The Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Gandhinagar promptly deputed vigilance officers to address our concerns regarding dumping of debris, filling, levelling, construction, etc. along, in, around the Vishwamitri river and its environs (banks, ravines, tributaries, ponds, wetlands, etc.) and non-compliance of the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules."

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