Construction near Okhla sanctuary: NGT asks UP to send proposal to MoEF
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal Monday asked Uttar Pradesh government to send its proposal regarding the eco-sensitive zone around Okhla bird sanctuary, near where building construction is on, to the Ministry of Environment and Forests which in turn will send the same to the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL).
The order of the Tribunal came on a petition filed by Noida resident Amit Kumar who sought prevention of the allegedly illegal and unauthorised construction being undertaken by builders within the 10-km radius of the Okhla bird sanctuary claimed to be an eco-sensitive zone.
A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani asked Uttar Pradesh government to send its proposal on eco-sensitive zone around Okhla bird sanctuary to the Ministry of Environment and Forests which shall then notify the same within two weeks.
The Tribunal also directed that the MoEF shall refer all projects within 10 kms of the sanctuary to the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL).
It also directed the Uttar Pradesh government that in case any new project or construction comes up near the sanctuary, environmental clearance granted to it shall also be sent to MoEF within four weeks.
The bench also underlined that the completed projects within 10 kms of the sanctuary shall also be subject to the decision of NBWL and all new projects will be allowed to come up only on the satisfaction of NBWL, the petitioner`s lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal said.
Meanwhile, Haryana and Delhi governments were also impleaded in the case and issued notices.
All the authorities concerned have been asked to file a compliance report.
Bansal said in the petition that without obtaining any prior clearance from NBWL or State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), around 55 builders are carrying on construction work around the sanctuary.
The petition also alleged Uttar Pradesh government has not bothered to notify the sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone despite intervention of the Supreme Court and repeated requests of the MoEF.
Kumar has also contended that as per the Wildlife Conservation Strategy-2002 adopted by the NBWL, lands falling within 10 km of the boundaries of national parks and sanctuaries should be notified as eco zones under the Environment Protection Act and Environment Protection Rules.
The builders contented since the sanctuary has no notified eco-sensitive zone nor is it notified as a protected area, any project coming up within 10 kilometers of it will not have to seek the clearance of the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL).
The Tribunal had on September 18 directed the Noida and Gautam Budh Nagar authorities to ensure that no construction work is carried out in the 49 projects around the sanctuary.
Pursuance to this order, SSP Noida had given a notice to all builders to stop construction.
The builders then approached the Tribunal claiming there is no such order or notification declaring it a sensitive zone.
Uttar Pradesh government had on October 23 submitted its notification dated May 8, 1990 by which it said the Okhla bird sanctuary was notified as a sanctuary under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
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