Okhla residents opposing a controversial plant,which converts waste to energy,have filed an affidavit in an ongoing National Green Tribunal case,claiming that the plant is operating in an eco-sensitive zone.
The affidavit claims that the Okhla waste to energy plant,a first in the country started by the Delhi government as an alternative power source,is about 2 km away from the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. The affidavit says since Uttar Pradesh notified the sanctuary and is in the process of declaring a 10-km eco-sensitive radius around the sanctuary,the state should be added as a party in the case.
The government of UP is not aware of the setting up and operation [of the plant, the affidavit claims,…and it is the Okhla Bird Sanctuary under the government of UP,which is being adversely affected by emission of pollution.
Sukhdev Vihar Resident Welfare Association,the applicant arguing that the Delhi government is ignoring environmental impacts of the plants emissions from its incinerator,also wants the UP government to pass further orders in the interest of justice.
The case was first filed in 2009 in the Delhi High Court,but was later transferred to the NGT.
The last hearing was on April 30,when an NGT-appointed commissioner reported to the bench that the plant can be truly hazardous because the ash from the burnt waste can easily escape into the atmosphere.
The secretary of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee,reacting to the RWAs affidavit,which was filed on Friday,said the health of the residents is the biggest concern in this case at the moment.
The sanctuary is not very close. People live nearby, DPCC Secretary Sandeep Mishra said.
On Tuesday, NGT will hear reports from the DPCC and the Central Pollution Control Board on their own findings in regard to potential pollutants being released into the air.