Batching plants on Yamuna: NGT notice to Larsen & Toubro

A bench issued a notice to Larsen & Toubro which is carrying out the extension of the third phase of Barapullah Elevated Road across the Yamuna.

New Delhi: Heeding to the plea of an environment activist who moved the National Green Tribunal against the operation of concrete-manufaturing plant on Yamuna floodplains here, the green panel Monday sought a response from an engineering and construction major on the issue.

A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, issued a notice to Larsen & Toubro which is carrying out the extension of the third phase of Barapullah Elevated Road across the Yamuna.

Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for Delhi Development Authority (DDA), told the bench that the allotment for the batching plant near Sarai Kale Khan here was done as per the Tribunal's order.

"One of the sub-groups of the Principal Committee, constituted by the Tribunal, comprising the landscape officer and the Chief engineer (EZ) of DDA had visited the site in question.

"After noting the violations (blocking the flow of Yamuna) by the batching plants, DDA wrote to the Public Works Department and the project proponent in this regard. We were assured that the needful would be done," Sharma said.

The matter is listed for next hearing on October 30.

Manoj Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan had alleged that the firm has violated the green panel's order which had prohibited any kind of construction activity on the flood plains on the river.

The plea had sought a stay and imposition of fine on the ongoing constructions on the floodplains that had taken place on the river bed in violation of the Tribunal's January 13 judgment.

"Despite the clear direction of this Tribunal barring any new construction (temporary or permanent) in the floodplain of the Yamuna, the activities of leveling of the flood plain and operation of batching plants are going on opposite Mayur Vihar Phase I in the east bank and opposite Sarai Kale Khan in West Bank respectively, by private parties," the plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, had said.

Misra had alleged that the DDA and the U P irrigation department have allotted land in the Yamuna floodplains, opposite Sarai Kale Khan on west bank and opposite Mayur Vihar Phase-I on east bank, to private parties in violation of the Tribunal's order.

"On September 18, during the meeting held in the Chambers of the Chairman of the Principal Committee, set up to review the progress made by the DDA in implementation of the NGT orders, the matter was again brought to the attention of the Chairman.

"It is brought to the attention of this Tribunal that during the meeting, the DDA agreed that it had made the allotment to M/s Larsen & Toubro. It is further brought to the attention of this Tribunal that the UP Irrigation Department, however, reported that the said construction work was going on without any allotment or approval," the plea said.

Mishra had said that he also noticed dumping of soil on the river bed along the alignment of the proposed phase III extension of the Barapula elevated road across the river from Ring Road to Mayur Vihar here.

"The planned elevated bridge-cum-road would irreversibly change the drainage pattern of the river bed and inhibit the free flow of the river," Mishra has said.

The Tribunal had on January 13 banned dumping of construction material into Yamuna while imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 on violators and also restrained real estate developers from carrying out any construction work.

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