The National Green Tribunal today warned Uttar Pradesh government that a penalty would be slapped on it in case it fails to furnish within seven days the list of water bodies and details of encroached ponds in Ghaziabad district which had been sought from it.
“If the orders, passed on January 28, March 7 and April 5, are not complied with in letter and spirit within seven days, we will be compelled to impose a penalty as provided under the National Green Tribunal Act,” warned a bench headed by Justice MS Nambiar.
“In spite of the directions, the state of UP has not complied (with them) to furnish the list of water bodies and the details of encroached ponds. The attitude can only be deprecated,” the bench said.
The bench also returned the status report filed by UP government as translated copies were not annexed and fixed May 29 as the next date of hearing.
“Even the status report… Contains only the list of ponds encroached upon. It is not complete as the list of total number of ponds… (is) not shown. It is evident that the direction has not been complied with,” it said.
Earlier, the tribunal had on January 28 directed UP government to remove encroachments from all water bodies in the state within four weeks. It had also asked the state government to submit a list of the lakes, ponds and sites in Ghaziabad district which have been encroached upon.
Also, UP government was directed to stop any construction being carried out by encroachers in the area of the water bodies and added that the state’s orders shall be scrupulously implemented by the authorities concerned.
The tribunal had added UP State Industrial Development Corporation, UP Awas Evam Vikas Parishad (Housing Board) and Ghaziabad Development Authority as parties after it was informed that a few of the alleged encroachments were in areas which under the control of these authorities.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by one Sushil Raghav, who has contended that encroachments upon water bodies in his village had reduced the groundwater level there.
In his plea filed through advocate R Venkata Raman, Raghav contended that Supreme Court in 2011 had ordered all states and Union territories to speedily evict illegal occupants from common village land, especially the water resources.
“Authorities concerned have not taken any action against the illegal occupants of ponds and ‘piayu’ and also allowed illegal encroachments in other ponds in 46 revenue villages of Ghaziabad district in active connivance with encroachers,” the petition alleged.