THE excuse given by the UNO of Banaripara justifying his action of putting signposting showing a good part of the River Sandhya earmarked for various entertainment and recreation facilities is deplorable. It is difficult to accept that it was done to prevent other encroachers to grab the river. Such acts of the administration do not deter but encourage the unscrupulous. And to top it all we are told that the local MP had given his nod to it.
We wonder whether it is within the remit of the UNO to commandeer part of a river whose control and administration is the responsibility of another agency of the government, or indeed within the authority of the local MP to give permission to do so. The DC, we understand, was out of the loop and had no knowledge of what the UNO was doing.
If the administration has to resort to illegal and even sly acts as a deterrent the only impression we get is that of a self-serving administration which, in spite of its authority, is either unwilling are unable to exercise it.
River grabbing, and in fact encroachment and devouring of all such public property are being done by well linked syndicates in many parts of the country. And they indulge in their illegal acts with the help and support of local public servants whose job it is to prevent exactly that.
When we are busy trying to save the rivers from the clutch of private parties it is absolutely exasperating to find some local administration replicating the encroachers and grabbers.