After it was told that the ‘in-principle’ approval given to proposed landfill sites at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujran were unsuitable due to their proximity to the Yamuna, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday said that it would examine the sites.
The NGT bench, headed by acting chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim and comprising Justice S P Wangdi, observed, “We will examine and consider if the two sites fall on Yamuna floodplains. We will consider all the issues.”
On Tuesday, two pleas — one by AAP leader Dilip Pandey and the other by rebel AAP leader Kapil Mishra — opposed the allotment. The bench didn’t issue notices on the pleas filed by Mishra and others, directing them to file a brief note mentioning the grounds for their opposition. The order came after it was informed by the DDA that a similar matter was already pending with the Supreme Court.
Advocate Balendu Shekhar, representing East DMC, said that with the Ghazipur landfill saturated, there was a pressing need for an alternate site to prevent an untoward incident. He told the bench that the identification of the land had taken place following a meeting at the NGT, where senior DDA officials had assured the tribunal about availability of these sites. Shekar added that the in-principle approval for these sites was based on recommendations by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
However, advocate Ritwick Dutta, appearing for Mishra, alleged that the EDMC had concealed information that these sites were part of the active floodplain of the Yamuna and fell under the O-Zone as per Master Plan of Delhi, where no development can take place.
A large portion of the 45-metre garbage mound in Ghazipur had collapsed after heavy rainfall, killing two persons, in September last year. The tribunal has also rapped the EDMC over fire incidents at the site. The petition by Pandey and others had said that the project will adversely affect the eco system of the area as several densely populated colonies and villages were located nearby.
Pandey’s plea had stated that the approval, given on the basis of recommendations of CPCB and NEERI, is based on wrong facts and it violated the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
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