Noida Park: SC reserves verdict

SC on Thursday wanted to know from the Centre the conditions required to be fulfiled by Uttar Pradesh government for getting clearance of the project relating to construction of statues and memorials for Dalit leaders.

Last Updated: Oct 01, 2010, 21:49 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday wanted to
know from the Centre the conditions required to be fulfiled
by Uttar Pradesh government for getting clearance of the
project relating to construction of statues and memorials
for Dalit leaders at Noida Park near here.

A Special forest bench headed by Chief Justice S H
Kapadia sought the view of the Ministry of Environment and
Forest (MoEF) in this regard and reserved its verdict after a
marathon hearing.

The apex court asked the Ministry to file a written
statement in this regard within a week specifying the
requirments needed for giving approval to the controversial
project.

It said the views of the Centre would be incorporated
in the final judgement.
Uttar Pradesh government has defended its project and
maintained that it did not require environmental clearance.

The state government said the project is not covered by
the notification which required environmental clearance.

"The area involved in the project was only 33.43
hectares, much below the bench mark of 1,50,000 sq meter
requiring environment clearance from MoEF," senior advocate K
K Venugopal, appearing for UP government, had submitted.

"The project is not in the forest area," the advocate had
submitted earlier before the Bench.

The apex court had said such a stand of the Centre
that the Environment Impact Assesssment (EIA) was not required
for the project has to be discussed in detail before arriving
at any conclusion.

The affidavit filed by the Ministry of Environment and
Forest (MoEF) had said the project of Mayawati government is
covered under Area Development Activity requiring no EIA.

However, MOEF`s affidavit drew strong objections
from the opponents of the project.

Salve had submitted acceptance of such a stand of the
government will cause more damage.
His stand was supported by the counsel for some Noida
residents, Jayant Bhushan, who had said the project cannot be
cleared without EIA as it was next to Okhla bird sanctuary.

The apex court had on August 13 wanted to know from
the Centre under which category of Environment Assessment
Notification the project could be put.

It is examining whether Uttar Pradesh government`s
project falls under the category of Building and Construction
Project or Township and Area Development Project.

The project, which covers 20,000 sq meter, comes under
the first category while those using 1,50,000 sq meter falls
under the second.

The apex court had also sought the Centre`s response
to the suggestion that guidelines should be laid down for
giving environmental clearance to projects in the vicinity of
urban forests like Noida park and Siri Fort in the national
capital.

Uttar Pradesh government had said Noida authorities
were ready to reduce the concrete area of the park where
statues and memorials of Dalit leaders have been installed.

The apex court had said such a stand of the Centre
that the Environment Impact Assesssment (EIA) was not required
for the project has to be discussed in detail before arriving
at any conclusion.

The affidavit filed by the Ministry of Environment and
Forest (MoEF) had said the project of Mayawati government is
covered under Area Development Activity requiring no EIA.
However, MOEF`s affidavit drew strong objections
from the opponents of the project.

Salve had submitted acceptance of such a stand of the
government will cause more damage.

His stand was supported by the counsel for some Noida
residents, Jayant Bhushan, who had said the project cannot be
cleared without EIA as it was next to Okhla bird sanctuary.

The apex court had on August 13 wanted to know from
the Centre under which category of Environment Assessment
Notification the project could be put.

It is examining whether Uttar Pradesh government`s
project falls under the category of Building and Construction
Project or Township and Area Development Project.

The project, which covers 20,000 sq meter, comes under
the first category while those using 1,50,000 sq meter falls
under the second.

The apex court had also sought the Centre`s response
to the suggestion that guidelines should be laid down for
giving environmental clearance to projects in the vicinity of
urban forests like Noida park and Siri Fort in the national
capital.

Uttar Pradesh government had said Noida authorities
were ready to reduce the concrete area of the park where
statues and memorials of Dalit leaders have been installed.

PTI