August 26, 2015 2:52:25 am
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday quashed the environmental clearance of a 450-bed super-specialty hospital in Faridabad and fined it Rs 12 crore in damages for ecological degradation. It also noted that the project’s proponents violated the law and “frustrated” the very object of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
QRG hospital, a venture of the promoters of Havells India, was directed by the NGT to pay an environmental compensation ofRs 6.88 crore for “degrading the environment”, and another Rs 5 crore for having started the project without obtaining environmental clearance.
“These are not innocent people unaware of the law and residing in some remote part of the country. They are builders constructing huge residential, commercial, mixed-purpose blocks, like hospitals, as in the present case…The project proponents are persons having large means and perspicacity. These projects began after the 2006 notification came into force, but the proponents did not even bother to apply for environmental clearance,” the NGT bench said.
The NGT directed that all activities on the premises of the hospital, started by Vivekananda Ashram Society and QRG Medicare Limited, should be brought to a halt. The state pollution control board and the Haryana Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were also asked to seal the premises, if any activity was carried out there.
The direction came on a petition filed by Faridabad resident Krishan Lal Gera, who alleged that land-use rules of the Haryana Urban Development Authority does not permit construction of a super-speciality hospital at that site. According to the plea, the land was initially allotted to the Vivekanand Ashram Society for establishing a residential school and a social development centre for Dalit students. But it was taken over to construct the hospital.
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