The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued directions to authorities in Noida and Gautam Budh Nagar to ensure that no construction work was carried out in 49 projects around the Okhla bird sanctuary.
The tribunal also pulled up the Noida Authority,the district magistrate,senior superintendent of police and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for failing to take action against violators. The Noida Authority was also directed to file a report on the 49 construction projects within a 10-km-radius of the bird sanctuary,including the source from which they draw water.
The order was issued by a two-member panel comprising Justice P Jyothimani and Justice S N Hussain in response to a plea filed by Amit Kumar,a resident of Noida. The petitioner had sought a ban on construction work within a 10-km radius of the Okhla bird sanctuary on the ground that the sanctuary was an eco-sensitive zone.
His application,filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal,contended that without obtaining any prior clearance from the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) or State Environment Impact Assessment Authority,around 55 builders were carrying out construction work around the sanctuary.
Kumar had also said that despite Supreme Court orders,requests by MoEF and the pointers in Wildlife Conservation Strategy-2002,adopted by the NBWL,the Uttar Pradesh government had not bothered to notify the sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act and Environment Protection Rules.
Respondent shall file the reply by the next date of hearing,failing which coercive steps will be taken against the said respondents. The MoEF in its reply shall clearly state the areas which are within 10 km of the Okhla bird sanctuary, the tribunal said.
The Noida Authority on Tuesday told the NGT that 49 realty projects were located within 10 km of the sanctuary.
The NGT asked the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police of Noida and Gautam Budh Nagar to file all details relating to the 49 projects,including the source from where they draw water for their project,by the next date of hearing.
The NGT directed the MoEF and National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) to submit their response to Kumars plea. The court also warned MoEF and NBWL that it would take coercive action against them if they failed to submit their response on time. The next hearing is on October 1.