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Ghaziabad civic body fails to act as sewage flows into Hindon, kills trees

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 12th April, 2013

It seems that the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) is in no mood to protect the green cover of the city and save the Hindon from contamination.

Dozens of trees have been submerged into sewage water near the city forest area and a temporary drain continues to flow directly into the river. The situation persists even after the October, 2012 order of the Allahabad High Court.

The high court had directed the GMC to construct a cemented canal so that the sewage water cannot flow into green areas. It had also ordered to set up a sewage treatment plant to prevent the Hindon from pollution.

Dozens of trees still stand submerged into the sewage water behind the Mahamaya Stadium and an adjacent temporary drain flows through the city forest area into Hindon near the post-mortem house. The entire area has a huge population of green trees and is designated as city forest under the GDA's Master Plan-2021.

Municipal councillor Rajendra Tyagi had alleged that sewage water from the drain was destroying trees in the city forest area, also known as Sai Upvan, where the GDA had planned to construct a golf course. Tyagi had filed a PIL, seeking stay over the construction of the golf course project.

After the high court order, the municipal corporation only filled up the sides of the drain with mud after which the sewage water from drain stopped overflowing. Tyagi says that he will move the high court with an affidavit into the matter and apprise the court of the persistent problems.

As the post of municipal commissioner is still vacant after Jitendra Singh retired on February 28, HT approached the horticulture department of the corporation about the compliance of high court directions. MP Singh, who is deputy municipal commissioner and in-charge of corporation's horticulture department, said that "a proposal after the court orders was put up before the commissioner but could not be materialised due to lack of funds".

"Even our share of R51 crore of infrastructure development funds for the financial year 2012-13 did not get released. We will pursue the matter again," he said.

The high court had ordered GMC to maintain status quo in relation to plans for converting the city forest area into a golf course. The order had come on the petitions filed by Tyagi and  Ghaziabad resident Alok Kumar.

Later, the GDA had filed a counter affidavit and stated before the court that no project (golf course) was finalized as yet and it only executed a memorandum of understanding with GMC for the development of area in accordance with the Master Plan 2021.

"In case of failure, the Municipal Commissioner of Nagar Nagam, Ghaziabad will be directed to be personally present before this court,"the order further stated.