NOIDA: Metro projects are not required to seek environmental clearance from the central and state governments, the environment ministry and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday.

The ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) and DMRC made this assertion in response to a petition alleging that construction of the upcoming Noida-Greater Noida Metro line lacks environmental clearance.

In its reply, the MoEF cited the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification that it issued under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, on June 14, 2006, listing 39 projects that need environmental clearance for new construction or expansion of existing ones.

“It is further submitted that the railway projects and Metro Rail projects are not within the purview of the EIA notification, 2006, therefore prior environmental clearance for the project in question is not required,” said the MoEF in its counter-affidavit filed before the principal bench of Justice U D Salvi.

The DMRC also cited a cabinet note of the MoEFCC dated June 2, 2009, in which it had told the urban development ministry that Metro projects are not required to seek environmental clearance although certain measures need to be taken to avoid adverse impact on environment. The six measures include keeping the noise level controlled, following the concept of green building and collection of sewage.

DMRC also “vehemently denied” that any groundwater was being extracted for the construction of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro line.The NGT had restrained all the builders in Noida and Greater Noida from extracting any quantity of underground water for the purposes of construction or otherwise. A number of builders have also been served notices for violating the NGT order. However, contrary to the claim, it said that as the executing agency of the project, only STP (sewage treatment plant) treated water is being used on a regular basis.

“It is respectfully submitted that the DMRC, which is the executing agency for the Metro project, and CEC-SAM INDIA, which is the joint venture that has been allotted the tender for construction of the line, are at present using STP treated water for the project which is supplied on a regular basis,” reads the DMRC’s reply.

Credits ET Realty

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