The National Green Tribunal has allowed Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) to carry out repair works on the banks of river Hindon in Ghaziabad to facilitate smooth Chhath Puja celebrations. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, asked GDA to ensure that no construction debris is dumped in the river.
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“Ghaziabad Development Authority would be entitled to repair ghats and stairs but they would not in any way raise fresh construction or expand the ghats and their work would be limited to repair work only.
“The Ghaziabad Development Authority will ensure that no malba (debris) of repair work is dumped in the river Hindon or anywhere in the area near the ghat and it should be removed immediately,” the bench, also comprising Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore, said.
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The NGT’s direction came while hearing a plea moved by GDA seeking permission to repair the stairs and ghats on the banks of the river.
In its plea, GDA contended that stairs near the river bank have broken and become “unduly” slippery and there was an urgent need to repair it in view of the Chhath festival when many people gather on the river.
“In the coming festival of Chhath it is likely that people may gather on the river. Therefore, protection measures are required to be taken in respect of repairs of stairs and ghats,” the plea said.
GDA moved NGT in view of a 2015 order saying construction of “new barrages and roads, railway and metro bridges and embankments and bunds” should not be permitted.
However, in exceptional cases, “a critical impact of their potential impact on flood aggravation and environmental clearances should be made mandatory,” it had said.