Earlier this week, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to recover damages from and initiate prosecution against Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd., after finding it had violated various environmental norms during its operations in Gurgaon’s Sushant Lok I. The Tribunal also directed that the “action plan” in the matter “be furnished to the Tribunal within three months”.
“The project was constructed without taking consent to operate under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, and without requisite Environmental Clearance,” states the NGT order.
The court arrived at the conclusion based on a report submitted by the CPCB, which was the coordinator of a joint committee formed in September last year to probe allegations of “encroachment of park in green area, illegal extraction of ground water, dumping of untreated sewage in stormwater drain, raising construction in violation of the statutory provisions”.
Elaborating on the violations, the NGT order states that no rainwater harvesting system was provided; ground water was extracted without requisite NoC from CGWA; the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, were not complied with; diesel generator sets were operating without stack height; and maintenance in the area was not up to the mark.
“Inspite of the above, part completion certificate has been granted by the Town and Country Planning Department, Haryana. It is also clear that despite serious violations, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has failed to perform its duties. The CGWA, CPCB, State PCB have also failed to perform their duties. The Town and Country Planning Department appears to have colluded,” states the order.
“In view of the above, we direct the CPCB to exercise its statutory power to determine and recover the damages and issue further directions for closure of the project and initiate prosecution in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Air Act and Water Act,” it states, adding that action “may include recovery of damages for loss to environment, closure of the project as well as prosecution under the relevant statutory provisions.”
Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd. did not respond to multiple calls and messages seeking comment.