In 2013, a petition was filed in Delhi high court to take action against encroachers of ponds, lakes and water bodies in villages.
Following this, the court passed an order that water bodies in the national capital should be allocated to villagers for their everyday use because water bodies are not only meant for communities but also for preserving the environment. All deputy commissioners were directed that none of the water bodies should be allocated for land construction in future.
In Delhi’s Budella, the Kejriwal government is building Sahitya Kala Parishad on a dried-up water body. The Wire’s journalist Yaqut Ali spoke to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Mahendra Yadav over this issue along with the villagers. Yadav told The Wire that “he respects the court’s verdict and the construction should be immediately stopped if the court has passed such an order”.
The villagers told The Wire that they want the water body to be revived.
Paras Tyagi, co-founder of CYCLE (Centre for Youth Culture Law and Environment Cycle), told The Wire that he approached government officials, including deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, over this issue, but didn’t get any reply from them.