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Noida Park: Centre not in favour of construction

The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it could not grant environmental clearance for construction of statues and memorials for Dalit leaders at a park in Noida.



New Delhi: The Centre on Friday told the Supreme
Court that it could not grant environmental clearance for
construction of statues and memorials for Dalit leaders at a
park in Noida if Uttar Pradesh government does not take
measures for the area`s ecological restoration.

In an affidavit before a special forest Bench headed
by Chief Justice S H Kapadia, the Ministry of Environment and
Forest (MoEF) said given the complex nature of the project and
its adverse impact on surrounding biodiversity and its
proximity to Okhla bird sancturay, it will not grant
clearance.
Citing a report of the Bombay Natural History Society
(BNHS), the MoEF said until and unless the actions suggested
by the institute are undertaken and discharged by the state,
it would be unable to grant clearance as "it would gravely
prejudice the sanctity and integrity of the adjoining bird
sancuary which is home to many critically endangered species".

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry,
which reviewed the three environment impact assessment reports
prepared by the UP government, has also suggested certain
measures to be taken by the state for getting clearance of the
Rs 650-crore project.

"The MoEF is unable to grant environmental clearance
to the project until and unless all the conditions laid down
both by BNHS in their report as well as the conditions laid
down by the EAC are satisfied," the affidavit said.

The actions suggested by the EAC included increase in
greenery, restriction on use of ground water, creation of
noise barriers in the form of thick plantation, no artificial
illumination and proper disposal of solid wastes.

The BNHS has in its report submitted to the MoEF said the
UP government should declare eco-sensitive zones based on the
guidelines of the Ministry besides asking for plantation of
native species of plants.

It also said no construction be allowed on the area
between the park and the sancuary in future and adjoning areas
be added to the sancutary as compensation.

The MoEF, during the last proceedings on July 21, had
sought time to examine the reports prepared by UP government
saying they were not concurring with each other.
The expert bodies appointed by the state government
conducted three studies after the apex court stayed the
construction work at the park.

The UP government had claimed the stay on construction
work was causing a loss of Rs three lakh everyday to it.

The state government had said the MoEF`s earlier
affidavit, in which it had said that the land in question did
not come under the forest area, favoured the lifting of stay
on construction at the site.

The UP government had submitted that all hurdles for
lifting the stay have been removed as the Centre, in its
affidavit, had made it clear that there was no need for
environmental clearance for the project.

The state government had argued that the apex
court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in its
report also had said that the project in no way affects the
bird sanctuary in Okhla which falls under the national
capital.

All work for the Rs 650-crore project on the 33.43
hectare land has been stopped since October 9, 2009, by the
apex court order.

The Centre had earlier opposed the project on
environmental grounds.

PTI

From Zee News

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