The National Green Tribunal issued a bailable warrant against the chief secretary of Uttarakhand on Friday when no representative from the state turned up for the hearing of a case relating to environmental issues that may have worsened the recent floods despite notices being served.
Without naming Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar,NGT chairperson Judge Swatanter Kumar issued a bailable warrant for Rs 20,000 for him to appear at the next hearing. The same was issued to the Director General of Border Roads Organisation.
This is a matter of great public importance and we find no reason as to why any of the state authorities should have not been represented before the tribunal in fact when they have been duly served, Justice Kumar said. Later,Chief Secretary Kumar said he did not know about the hearing prior to the warrant and he was still trying to figure out who had been notified and who was supposed to attend the hearing.
Although representatives from seven other agencies like Distaster Mitigation and Management Center were present at the hearing,they could not file any information that Justice Kumar had asked for at the last hearing three weeks ago.
Justice Kumar has asked the nine respondents to answer on what basis massive construction has been raised,whether they are part of any zonal development plan and if there has been sufficient impact research. The next hearing is scheduled for August 26,but the agencies have two weeks to file their replies to the NGT.