City Reports

No more night market at Jal Mahal; Ban imposed by NGT citing eco-sensitive zone

The petition pointed out that the night market posed a risk due to its proximity to the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary.

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September 3, 2023, 3:54 pm

jal mahal night market food

Food stalls at Jal Mahal Night Market.

JAIPUR: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned the night market at the Jal Mahal in Jaipur. This move follows the presentation of a comprehensive report before the tribunal, highlighting Jal Mahal’s classification as an eco-sensitive zone and potential threats to the surrounding environment.

The decision was made in response to a petition submitted by Rajendra Tiwari. The petition pointed out that the night market, allowed by the Municipal Corporation Heritage Jaipur, posed a risk due to its proximity to the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary and its location within the eco-sensitive zone.

The waste generated by the market was found to be polluting the Jalmahal Lake, while the market’s operations were contributing to noise pollution during the night, adversely affecting local wildlife.

To thoroughly investigate the matter, the court formed a committee consisting of the Jaipur Collector, the Principal Conservator of Forests, and a representative from the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board. This committee was tasked with visiting the site, assessing the situation, and preparing a detailed report.

Advocate Arvind Soni, representing the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board, presented the committee’s report to the court, reaffirming that Jalmahal’s sail was indeed within an eco-sensitive zone.

The report highlighted that the operation of the night market posed a direct threat to the environment and the Jalmahal Lake. The court imposed a ban on the night market’s activities. Additionally, the court ordered for a comprehensive report on pollution levels in the Jalmahal Lake and the groundwater conditions in the area.

The night market, which commenced in November last year, was launched by the Jaipur Heritage Municipal Corporation as an effort to promote night tourism in the city. The market offered a blend of traditional and modern Rajasthan, providing a diverse shopping experience twice a week from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the sail of the renowned Jalmahal.

Initially proposed for Chaura Rasta, the market was relocated to Jalmahal due to opposition from local traders. The market featured over 100 small temporary stalls housed within tented domes on the sail of Jalmahal, where a variety of food and other items were on offer. Visitors to the market were also treated to the flavors of Rajasthani, Punjabi, and South Indian cuisine. Entry fees were applicable for those wishing to explore this vibrant market.

First published: August 25, 2023