New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court has
asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file a counter-affidavit
after the NHRC filed a writ petition before it seeking
direction for banning "illegal abattoirs" on corporation land
leading to health and environmental hazards in Meerut.
The respondent had pointed out that they have taken steps
in this regard and sought time to file a counter-affidavit,
the National Human Rights Commission said in a press statement
It was also pointed out that various writ petitions are
pending before the High Court in which interim orders have
been granted. Therefore, all the pending writ petitions may be
clubbed together with the one filed by the NHRC.
"The court ordered that let the respondent first file a
counter-affidavit in the matter as pleaded by them and fixed
the next date of hearing on the March 30," it said.
Illegal abattoirs and about 200 furnaces have been causing
water and air pollution within a radius of 2.5 kms in a
densely populated area in Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh, the
rights panel said.
The Commission found that despite the District Magistrate
and the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Meerut assuring
removal of the units from corporation land, "the ground
reality is different."
Therefore, the Commission had summoned the Chief
Secretary, Uttar Pradesh, DIG-cum-SSP, Municipal Commissioner
and District Magistrate, Meerut and Chairman, State Pollution
Control Board, the rights body noted.
In its notice to them, the Commission had said, "The right
to health is not only a vital human right, but also a
fundamental right, guaranteed in the Constitution. If the
health of the citizens is affected due to pollution and the
local administration shows a lackadaisical approach in
resolving the problem, the Commission cannot keep waiting as a
helpless spectator and it has to take effective steps."
Since, the UP government "failed to comply with the
recommendations of the Commission in the matter despite
assurance, the Commission approached the High Court seeking
its intervention in the matter," the NHRC said.