Answer our queries or face harsh orders: NGT to Uttarakhand

Last Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 18:42

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday warned the Uttarakhand government that it would be compelled to pass "harsh" orders if its queries on relief measures in the disaster-hit state are not answered on the next date of hearing - October 11.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar made it clear that if on October 11, the state government is unable to show the steps it has taken for welfare of the people as well as to restore the ecology, environment and property loss, the tribunal would direct presence of the state Chief Secretary as well as other senior officers concerned.

"You tell us (on next date) what steps you have taken or we will be harsh against your state. We make it clear that if complete queries of tribunal are not answered on next date of hearing, we would be compelled to direct presence of your Chief Secretary and concerned senior officers in the field," the bench said.

The tribunal, while listing the matter for further hearing on October 11, said, "We do not like to adjourn, but we are doing it for second time on your request."

On September 9, the last date of hearing, the lawyers appearing for the state government were unable to answer the bench`s query about steps Uttarakhand has claimed to have taken to ensure restoration of ecological balance and prevention of re-occurrence of such a disaster.

The order came after lawyers appearing for Uttarakhand were unable to provide even a single step taken by the state government for the welfare of people affected by the natural calamity as well as to restore the ecology of the region.

The lawyers said that the affidavit filed by the state government says what steps have been taken, but they were not able to submit before the bench even a single measure. Meanwhile, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) today filed a voluminous affidavit showing the research it undertakes prior to construction of roads.

NHAI had faced the NGT`s ire and slapped with a cost of Rs 25,000 for not filing reports regarding the studies conducted by it before building roads.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the NGT Bar Association on the recent floods that ravaged the state and the effect on the people and the environment there.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 18:42

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