New Delhi: Stressing that "protection" and "improvement" of the environment is need of the hour, the National Green Tribunal has directed Madhya Pradesh to remove all encroachments within a 33-metre "No Construction Zone" (NCZ) along the entire length of the Kaliasot river.
The central zone bench comprising Justice Dalip Singh also directed the state officials to carry out extensive plantation work as a green belt along the course of the river Kaliasot, a tributary of Betwa river, within a period of three months.
"Wherever the 33 mts No Construction Zone has been found to have been violated, steps for removing such constructions shall be ordered to be taken by the party violating the norms which shall also ensure removal of all debris...The State shall be at liberty to remove such constructions and recover costs from the violators," the bench said.
"The State Pollution Control Board shall submit a report before this Tribunal within four weeks after carrying out site inspection with regard to the installation and the measures undertaken for the treatment of the sewage and effluents being discharged into the river Kaliasot," the tribunal said.
The tribunal`s order came over a petition by Subhash C Pandey which had said there was major encroachment along the riverbed of river Kaliasot.
The petitioner had alleged that government agencies such as Town and Country Planning Department, Kolar Municipal Council, State environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA) and Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB), among others, failed to ensure the observance of the terms and conditions of the environmental clearance (EC) by builders and developers.
Earlier, the NGT had issued notices to the state, MP State Disaster Management Authority, Water Resource Department, Town and Country Planning Department, SEIAA, Municipal Council Kolar, and MPPCB over encroachment of riverbed and green belt of Kaliasot River.
"The need today as has been mentioned in Article 48(A) and 51(A)(g) is for Protection and Improvement of the environment. With the density of population increasing, the need is for more open spaces rather than to curtail the same," the bench said.