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Stop work on Ganga Expressway: HC tells govt

The Allahabad High Court ordered the state government on Monday to halt all construction work related to the Ganga Expressway,connecting the eastern and western borders of the state.

Written by Express News Service | Allahabad |
November 10, 2009 3:08:46 am

The Allahabad High Court ordered the state government on Monday to halt all construction work related to the Ganga Expressway,connecting the eastern and western borders of the state.

The Bench comprising Justice D P Singh also served contempt notice to UP Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta,Chief Executive Officer of Ganga Expressway Ravindra Singh,JP Infrastructure Chairman Manoj Gaur and District Magistrate and Additional SP of Mirzapur.

The order was passed by Justice D P Singh on a contempt petition filed by Varanasi-based organisation Ganga Mahasabha and

one Allahabad-based man Narendra Giri. The petitioners alleged that work on the project was being carried on in violation of the court’s May 29 order to stop all work and obtain fresh environmental clearance.

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The Bench asked M C Chaturvedi,chief standing counsel of the state,to serve the notices and obtain their replies before the next date of hearing — December 2.

A K Gupta,counsel for the petitioner,said that despite the court’s order,the state government and the JP group was conducting a survey and was carrying on with the land acquisition in Mirzapur. The DM and the ASP of Mirzapur were actively involved in helping the JP Group in the land acquisition,he said.

On the other hand,Chaturvedi assured the court that no construction or land acquisition was going on,and the petitioner had an ulterior motive to stall the development project.

On May 29,a Division Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Arun Tandon had quashed the environmental clearance certificate obtained by the government from the State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. The Bench also asked the government to stop all work on the project till a fresh clearance within the guidelines laid down by the Environment Protection Act,1986,was obtained.

The court had rejected the environmental clearance certificate of the state government on the ground that it did not adhere to all the four stages of the process as laid down in the Environment Protection Act.

The Ganga Expressway Project was launched by Chief Minister Mayawati after coming to power in 2007. The project aims to construct a 1,047 km access-controlled eight-lane expressway,which runs along Ganga to connect Greater Noida to Ballia.

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