NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Monday hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government and public authorities in Agra for “improper” demarcation of Yamuna floodplains and fixation of pillars, saying that 85 per cent of the buildings on the riverbed were liable to be demolished. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the lawyer appearing for UP government to take clear instructions whether they would like to demarcate the floodplains afresh or not.
“Local commissioner’s report has found severe violations in functioning of government departments in Agra as there is improper demarcation of floodplains. According to the report there appears to be malafide in measuring the distance of various real estate projects from the flood plains of river Yamuna in Agra. Contrary to claims, 85 per cent of buildings on Yamuna floodplains are liable to be demolished,” the bench observed.
The tribunal asked various real estate developers and other parties in the case to file their replies on the local commissioner’s report within two weeks. The bench was hearing a plea filed by Agra resident D K Joshi, who passed away recently. The plea had alleged that many buildings have been built right in the flood plain and even in the river itself.
He has now been substituted by new petitioners Umashankar Patwa and Shabi Haider Jafri after Joshi’s lawyer Rahul Choudhary moved an application in this regard. The matter was listed for next hearing on November 22.
Earlier, the green panel had appointed Registrar General Mukesh Kumar Gupta as local commissioner to ascertain the “correct position” of flood plains and the distances of the various projects, after expressing dissatisfaction over a chart submitted by UP government on the construction carried out by builders on the floodplains of Yamuna.
The tribunal had earlier issued notice to these builders to show cause why compensation in terms of Section 15 and 17 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 should not be imposed on them and why appropriate directions not passed regarding their structures which were violative of environmental laws. It had also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Agra Municipal Corporation for dumping of waste on the floodplains of river Yamuna in the city, noting that the civic body has failed to perform its duty and protect the environment.
Credits ET Realty