Acting on a contempt plea filed by a journalist, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary to file a status report on encroachment of water bodies, including ponds and wetlands, in Ghaziabad and other parts of the state.
A vacation bench headed by Justice Pratap Kumar Ray also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file affidavit on the issue of preservation of water bodies within two weeks.
The Tribunal in December last year had directed the chief secretary to restore threatened water bodies across the state in six months and file an action taken report once every 30 days from January 2015.
“Having regard to the said directions, the respondents are directed to file reply as to why appropriate order against them shall not be passed by this Tribunal in exercise of its powers vested under the statute i.E National Green Tribunal, Act 2010,” the bench said.
It also directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to strictly comply with the earlier directions and asked him to take all necessary steps so that there is no damage caused to the water bodies and no constructions are raised.
The Tribunal was hearing a contempt plea filed by journalist Sushil Raghav, who contended that the Chief Secretary had not filed status report on encroachments on water bodies in terms of the directions passed in December last year.
“Authorities concerned have not taken any action against the illegal occupants of ponds and ‘piayu’ (drinking water outlets) and also further allowed illegal encroachments in other ponds of 46 revenue villages of district Ghaziabad in active connivance with illegal encroachers,” the petition had alleged.