The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Friday issued notices to the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the Delhi government, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on a project to redevelop Pragati Maidan.
The NGT orally directed the ITPO that construction will not go ahead till afforestation is carried out in lieu of the trees that will be felled in the area. The tribunal was responding to a plea claiming that environment clearance for the integrated exhibition-cum-convention centre, to come up at Pragati Maidan, was obtained by “concealing material information”.
Earlier this month, while granting environmental clearance, the Ministry had told the ITPO to plant minimum one tree for every 80 sq mts of land. The existing trees will be counted for this purpose, the letter had said.
More than 1,700 trees are expected to be felled to set up the centre, which is set to come up at a cost of Rs 1,677 crore. The Centre approved the project earlier this month with some riders, after taking into account the recommendations of its expert panel.
The ITPO was also asked to obtain necessary clearances from relevant agencies, before beginning work. The Ministry also told ITPO to redevelop Pragati Maidan as per the local building bylaws and barricade the construction site before work begins.
(With PTI inputs)