The Meghalaya High Court, on September 26, directed the state and the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) to take action against illegal construction along the Umiam lake.
In its order passed while hearing a PIL on the cleanliness of the Umiam Lake, the two-member bench said, “Since KHADC submits that the two construction works on the Umiam Lake side owned by Philosopher Iawphniaw and B Khongwar are illegal and unauthorised, both the State and the District Council should take immediate steps in accordance with law in respect of the offending construction works.”
It has also directed that notices be issued to Philosopher Iawphniaw, owner of Moon View Cafe, and B Khongwar, owner of Ever Banalari (Restaurant cum Guest House) with the intimation that the matter will be taken up on September 29.
SP Mahanta, who is assisting the Court as Amicus Curiae has been asked to ensure that the copies of this order are immediately reached to the owners of Moon View Cafe and Ever Banalari (Restaurant cum Guest House). “And if the owners, in the usual style, attempt to dodge the service, copies of the notices should be prominently pasted on the outer walls of the two construction works for the owners to be deemed to have due notice thereupon. Photographs will be taken of the notices being pasted on the outer wall, if the owners or the owners’ associates seek to evade receipt of the copy of the order,” the order said.
Earlier, notice was also issued to one Cannyson N. Marbaniang, the owner of Hills Cafe which is next to the Mahindra showroom.
It was submitted on behalf of Cannyson N. Marbaniang that the cafe is on the hill side of the road and not on the lake side.
“The KHADC agrees with the submission and says that the notice issued to the owner of Hills Cafe may have been mistaken. However, it is submitted on behalf of the State that Hills Cafe, even if it is on the other side of the road from Umiam Lake, has been constructed without obtaining any license or permission and the State Pollution Control Board has serious reservations pertaining to the construction and activity undertaken at the site,” the order said.