Urban tanks in Howrah
So the Samiti knocked the doors of the SC. Interestingly, the existing Inland Fisheries Act in West Bengal already prohibits filling up of wetlands in all parts of the state. But the powerful land mafia in Kolkata has been systematically destroying the lakes, in blatant violation of the law.
In his 486-pages petition, along with other civic issues, Dutta pleaded for judicial intervention for protection of 110 urban water tanks located in Howrah, SC referred the matter back to the Calcutta High Court (HC) on April 16, 1996. In a historic move, it directed the HC to form a special ‘green bench’—for the first time in India— to deal with the petition. The impact was spectacular.
In April, Subhash Dutta files the PIL. In the Calcutta HC
During the first hearing in June, the matter was not heard by the HC on the grounds of non receipt of papers from the SC.
In September, The HC issues its final verdict. The final verdict of the HC banned the filling up of urban water bodies in Howarh. The court directed the Howrah municipal corporation to list ponds under the jurisdiction of all the police stations in the area. The officers-in-charge have been given the responsibility to protect the water bodies in their respective regions.