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Calcutta High Court disposes of PIL alleging dredging of various canals falling within East Kolkata Wetland Management Authority

Posted on September 5, 2023

The Calcutta High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed alleging that the dredging of various canals falling within the East Kolkata Wetland Management Authority are being carried on in most unscientific manner creating loss of lives and livelihood of the people in the locality as also the flora and fauna.

The petitioners further allege that the authorities adopted an unscientific manner while dredging the canals.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice T. S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya noted that there is nothing placed on record by the petitioners regarding the manner in which the dredging can be termed as “unscientific”.

The Court cannot take a decision based on the photographs, the Court said.

Abhishek Sikdar , advocate for the petitioners pointed out the photographs which show that a dredger is stationed in the water where there is sufficient water.

However,the Court noted that there is no sufficient water.

If that be the case, a dredger cannot be placed in those canals and necessarily excavators have be to used by placing the excavators in the banks of the canals. If the dredging activities have to be done, it should be carried out by the respondent. If the respondent is of the opinion that they do not have the expertise in the matter, they should call for the experts in the field and seek their advice as to how best the dredging operation can be carried on without causing damage to the property and also to the livelihood , the Court observed.

The advocate for the State submitted that the dredging operation has been carried out in at least two canals and photographs in that regard have been produced before the Court. The said submission is placed on record by the High Court.

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