The National Green Tribunal has directed Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) to obtain environmental clearance from the Uttar Pradesh environment authority for construction of a six-lane Hindon elevated road connecting NH-24.
The green panel held that the road project was covered under Entry 8(b) of the Schedule to Environmental Clearance Regulations 2006 and it was mandatory for GDA and the state government to obtain environmental clearance (EC) from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
The 9.3 km six-lane Hindon elevated road provides a link to NH-24 and is intended to ease the congestion in Ghaziabad and enable onward traffic move to other districts in UP.
“The Project Proponent should apply for obtaining Environmental Clearance within three months from the date of pronouncement of this judgment.
“Upon receipt of this application, the concerned Regulatory Authority shall consider the application for grant of EC in accordance with the prescribed procedure in terms of Regulation of 2006 and dispose of the same as expeditiously as possible, in any case not later than six months from the date of filing of the application,” the bench said.
The directions came during hearing of a petition filed by Ghaziabad resident Sushil Raghav who has contended that the construction work for the project was started in this area, which falls under the Hindon Bird Sanctuary, without any permission from SEIAA under Environmental Impact Assessment notification 2006.
The tribunal said at this stage of the project, it was not inclined to direct “demolition or prohibition” of the project but made it clear that in the event of default of compliance, it would pass coercive orders like levying of environmental compensation.
“Regulatory Authority shall put all such terms and conditions as may be necessary to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on environment, ecology, bio-diversity and particularly the stated Bird Sanctuary and water bodies stated to be in existence at or near the site in question.
“The Regulatory Authority may put such conditions as may be necessary even directing remedial measures which the Project Proponent shall take without default and delay,” the bench said.
NGT also directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to take a “final view” and pass appropriate orders to declare and notify Hindon Bird Sanctuary as a Bird Sanctuary under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
It directed the State Government and the concerned authorities to remove encroachments and protect water bodies in the area.
( Source – PTI )