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The Lone Cypress In The Sullage
THIS has been a season of seizures. The resort developer next door who built a vast unsanctioned hotel without any sanitary concern for his neighbours (the sullage daily floods the main road through which schoolchildren and the public have to wade) apparently got wind of the law catching up and converted it into a school. There was a rumour that the Supreme Court was "seized of the matter" and had ordered unsanctioned resorts to be demolished. According to local reports, the school (run by a Bihari) is said to charge Rs 15 lakh for kindergarten but guarantees your child a place in the IAS in the fullness of time (presumably in the Bihar cadre). The local authorities in the meantime sought to solve the prob lem of sullage flowing in the public domain. Instead of insisting the resort builder construct tanks according to his "recommended for sanction" (but not sanctioned) plans, they summoned those who complained of the smell (at the top of the hill) but did not summon those like myself (at the bottom) where the smell is much worse. The reason the resort builder refuses to build tanks on his land is because he hopes to construct more buildings. What halts him is a 100-year-old, deep-rooting cypress tree that has now become a symbol of Uttarakhand's determination to save its environment from further ravages by resort developers. Fortunately, further down the hill flourishes the unspoilt greenery of the DFO's office which has a small zoo. Not taking kindly to the threat of sullage from above, the Forest Department is also seized of the matter..