The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Union environment ministry to re-examine environmental clearance (EC) given to the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board for developing a ‘Modern Poultry and Egg Market’ at Ghazipur.
The principal bench of the Tribunal issued the direction on Wednesday while hearing a plea filed by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi.
The main objection in the plea was that slaughtering of animals and processing of meat cannot be done at the same place where its marketing is done.
“It is pointed out that the project has been considered simply as a ‘construction project’ even though the impugned EC itself mentions that there will be slaughtering… Last submission is that there is no environment impact assessment of the slaughtering activity, as the evaluation is only of construction activity. The suitability of the site in question, adjacent to Ghazipur dump site, and impact on hygiene and public health has also not been assessed,” the order read.
The plea also mentioned that slaughtering and selling of meat at the same place violates provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006, and Regulations of Municipal Corporation Act, 1957.
It also mentioned that a sub-committee formed to oversee slaughtering of animals following directions of the Supreme Court had stated in its reports in 2019 and 2020 that the activity should be done only in licensed slaughterhouses and not in market premises.
In its observations, the NGT bench directed, “From the impugned order and the proceedings before the EAC (Expert Appraisal Committee), the above issues do not appear to have been addressed… the grant of EC needs to be revisited. We order accordingly. Till fresh consideration in the light of the above, the impugned EC may not be given effect.”
It added, “We have not considered necessary to issue notice as we are not adjudicating upon the issue and requiring the EAC to comply with the binding law on the point. However, the respondents are given liberty to move this Tribunal, if they are aggrieved by this order.”