Ashok Gehlot postpones Kota visit ahead of riverfront inauguration

by The Technical Blogs


Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday postponed his visit to Kota. He was scheduled to inaugurate the Chambal riverfront project and other development works in the city. In a late-night post, the Congress leader cited “unavoidable reasons” for cancelling the September 12 visit.

However, he said the plans for Wednesday would remain the same. “I was eagerly looking forward to the inauguration but, due to unavoidable reasons, I would not be able to attend the program on September 12. The programs for September 13 will remain the same. Congratulations to all Hadoti residents,” he said in a tweet.

His last-minute announcement took everyone by surprise, and many wondered why his tweet came at 2:30 am, and if there was any problem with the riverfront in Kota.

Everything was normal till noon on Monday and all arrangements were made for CM Gehlot’s visit to Kota, sources told India Today.

He was to inaugurate the Chambal River Front worth Rs 1,442 crore in Kota today. The Urban Development Department had organized about 25 programs for the CM, including a press conference on the river front.

Gehlot was to stay in Kota for two days and return from there by Tuesday evening after the cabinet meeting. Apart from the CM, invitations had been sent to all the ministers and 123 MLAs to reach Kota.

BJP creates stir

After Ashok Gehlot’s Kota schedule was prepared, former Kota BJP MLA Prahlad Gunjal called a press conference that caused a stir.

In his address to the media, Gunjal alleged that the riverfront was constructed in view of the Gharial Sanctuary, disregarding the orders of the Supreme Court, High Court and guidelines of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Rounds of meetings ensued after, regarding approvals and pending requests. Detailed discussions took place with Chief Secretary Usha Sharma and Principal Secretary Kuldeep Ranka.

Officials from the Urban Development Department, Forest Department and Law Department also participated. The round of meetings continued till late Monday night and its briefings were sent to Gehlot.

The guidelines of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife regarding the sanctuary, NGT, Supreme Court and High Court orders were also discussed. After a series of meetings between top officials that lasted till midnight, there appeared to be a possibility of lapse in some cases.

At midnight, it was decided that it was not appropriate for CM Gehlot to go as a dispute could arise.

Gehlot postpones inauguration

Following rigorous meetings and scrutiny of documents, Ashok Gehlot postponed his visit to Kota. However, the files of the Legal Department and Forest Department are still being scrutinized. Responses are also being sought from the concerned officials of the Urban Development Department.

A letter was sent by the Union Forest and Environment Ministry to the Rajasthan government over two months ago regarding the Chambal riverfront.

The letter revealed a bundle of complaints regarding the Chambal River Front of Kota. It is feared that the guidelines and rules of the Environment Act 1986 and Wildlife Protection Act 1972 have been disregarded in relation to the area related to the National Chambal Crocodile Sanctuary.

According to a top official, the Chambal River Front has been constructed in an eco-sensitive zone of the National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary area.

This construction is in violation of the provisions of the Environment Protection Act 1986 and the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. No permission was taken from the Standing Committee of the National Wildlife Board in this regard.

Published On:

Sep 12, 2023


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