HC Directs Municipal Body To File Status Report On 231 Private Tanks In Odisha’s Cuttack City  

Cuttack: Expressing displeasure over Cuttack Municipal Corporation’s (CMC) failure to preserve water bodies in the city, the Orissa High Court has asked the civic body to submit a detailed status report on 231 private tanks recorded during a survey conducted in 2009-10.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice BR Sarangi and Justice MS Raman asked CMC to file an affidavit on the private tanks with details about each plot, including plot number, area of the tank, and the name of the owner of the water body.

The HC gave the direction on Monday after going through the affidavit filed by the CMC in pursuance of an order passed on September 21, 2023, on a PIL filed by Maitree Sansad, a city-based socio-cultural organisation, seeking intervention for conservation of water bodies in Cuttack.

In the affidavit, the civic body had mentioned about exiting 231 private tanks as per a a survey made in 2009-10. As 13 years have passed since, it had suggested a further detailed survey by a joint team from CMC, district administration and law enforcement officials to determine how many tanks are surviving and how many have lost their characteristics. The CMC also mentioned about Ama Pokhari scheme introduced in July 2023 for rejuvenation of 2,000 large water bodies by urban local bodies and its efforts to rejuvenate six tanks.

Advocate Debashis Nayak, who appeared for the CMC, sought 12 weeks for the verification and submission of the detailed report.

The bench, however, observed, “This court takes exception to such submission made by the CMC in view of the fact that in the meantime no vigilant steps have been taken by it with regard to safeguarding the existing tanks owned either by the private parties or by the government.”

It further said that merely because steps have been taken for rejuvenation of six tanks, it cannot be construed to be sufficient.


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