In a major relief to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the Supreme Court Friday cleared the construction of Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar Park in Noida subject to certain conditionalities.
The apex court forest bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan in its ruling said only 25 percent of the total area of the park could have ‘pucca’ construction (hard landscaping). Another 25 percent would be covered with soft landscaping like grass and shrubs.In the remaining 50 percent land, the court has directed the planting of trees.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Aftab Alam said the area on which the park was being built was not a forest land. Mere existence of a certain number of trees in an area would not make it a forest, he said.
The court has directed a monitoring committee be set up, which will have an omithologist (bird specialist) from the environment and forest ministry, one member from apex court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NOIDA (New Okhla Industrial Development Authority), a suburb of the national capital in Uttar Pradesh.
The monitoring committee will oversee the compliance of the conditionalities set out by the apex court for the completion of the Noida Park.
The apex court has voiced its concern for the Noida bird sanctuary. The court observed that though the Uttar Pradesh government has not adopted the Environment Impact Assessment notification, its mere absence cannot prevent it from not taking cognisance of the situation.
The bench said that Article 21 provides for the right to clean environment and the same could be invoked to address the situation.