ISL in environment controversy: NGT moved against floodlight matches at Rabindra Sarobar
The petitioner made the West Bengal government, the Kolkata Improvement Trust, the Union Environment Ministry, as also the Football Sports Development respondents to the petition.
Kolkata: Claiming that holding of ISL matches under floodlights at the Rabindra Sarobar stadium could cause ecological hazard, a petitioner has moved the National Green Tribunal pleading that the games should not be organised at night without proper environmental monitoring.
The Public Interest Litigation, filed before the eastern zone bench of the tribunal by an environmental activist Subhas Datta on Friday, said it was "a better option to hold the football matches during day hours".
Pointing out that Rabindra Sarobar Lake was part of the National Plan for conservation of Aquatic Eco-system (NPCA), Datta said the lake area was a "highly eco-sensitive zone with big stretches of water bodies and greeneries all around".
The petitioner made the West Bengal government, the Kolkata Improvement Trust, the Union Environment Ministry, as also the Football Sports Development - that operates the ISL - respondents to the petition.
The Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt Ltd - a consortium established to oversee the administration and operations of ISL franchisee Atletico de Kolkata - and the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, were also made respondents.
The PIL pleaded with the tribunal to direct the respondents not to hold or allow holding of ISL Football league matches in Rabindra Sarovar Lake Stadium during night hours "without undergoing environmental monitoring".
Stating that the Rabindra Sarovar Lake area is a highly eco-sensitive zone, it said holding of such mega-event by using flood light system may cause harm and hazards to the environment, flora and fauna of the entire area.
"The place, which is a part of the National Plan for conservation of Aquatic Eco-system and where indigenous birds, migratory birds, variety of aquatic lives exist, it is a better option not to hold such event there during night hours."
The petition said due to the mega event, several thousand motor vehicles would be parked, and loud public address systems operated and possible use of burning fire-works and fire-crackers would cause "environmental hazards".
The petition would be heard on September 15, Datta said.
The Rabindra Sarobar stadium has been chosen as the home venue of ATK this year, as the Salt Lake stadium - that hosted the home matches of the franchisee over the previous editions - is out of bounds on account of the renovation work being carried out there ahead of the 2017 under-17 World Cup.