November 10, 2009 3:37:24 am
The Allahabad High Court on Monday issued notices to UP Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta,Ganga Expressway Chief Executive Officer Ravindra Singh,J P Infrastructure Chairman Manoj Gaur,the District Magistrate and the Additional SP of Mirzapur on a contempt petition alleging that they were working on a project in Mirzapur in violation of the courts May 29 order to stop all work and obtain fresh environmental clearance.
Justice D P Singh asked state counsel M C Chaturvedi to serve the notices and get replies before the next hearing on December 2. The court also ordered that work on the project be stopped immediately.
A K Gupta,counsel of the petitioner Ganga Mahasabha,alleged that despite the courts order,the state government and the JP group were conducting a survey and acquiring land in Mirzapur. The DM and the ASP of Mirzapur were actively involved in helping the JP Group in the land acquisition, Gupta alleged.
Chaturvedi,however,told the court that no construction or land acquisition was going on and that the petitioner had an ulterior motive to stall the development project.
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The court had on May 29 quashed the Environmental Clearance Certificate obtained by the government from State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority,saying it did not follow all four stages of process as laid down in the Environment Protection Act. It ordered that all work on the project be stopped and asked the government to obtain fresh certificate within the guidelines laid down by Environment Protection Act 1986.
The Ganga Expressway Project was launched by Chief Minister Mayawati in 2007 with an aim to construct a 1,047 km access-controlled eight-lane expressway along the Ganga river connecting Greater Noida on the western border of UP to Ballia on the states eastern border.
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