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Notice to encroachers on Ghaziabad green belt, drain

The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has issued demolition notices to encroachers on the Sahibabad drain and the green belt near Vaishali Metro station, and has given them time till May 20 to reply, failing which the unauthorized constructions will be demolished. The notices have been issued in accordance with the May 8 order of the National Green Tribunal, in which it had directed the authority to prohibit encroachments and prevent unauthorized constructions in these areas.

 

An expert panel formed by the tribunal had earlier identified the unauthorized constructions, including several marriage and banquet halls besides makeshift commercial establishments on the green belt. The panel had also pointed to industrial units releasing untreated effluents into the Sahibabad drain, besides several unauthorized constructions on the drain. "Demolition notices have been issued to those establishments that have come up in violation of the land-use pattern in the authority's master plan for Ghaziabad. We will demolish them if they don't respond to the notices," said GDA vice-chairman Santosh Yadav.

 

The green tribunal had also directed the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to ensure that a particular industrial unit - which was found to be releasing untreated effluents into the drain by the expert panel - be issued closure notice. Both GDA and UPPCB will have to submit a report to the tribunal on May 23, highlighting the action taken by them. The UPPCB said that its headquarters in Lucknow has also issued a show-cause notice to the industrial unit discharging untreated effluents into the drain.

 

The expert panel, headed by advocate Parul Gupta, had been set up by the tribunal in a case filed by a Ghaziabad-based environmental activist, Hazi Arif, who had alleged that the effluents released into the drain has polluted Yamuna river into which it ultimately empties. It had also been alleged that encroachments on the green belt has resulted in depletion of underground water table.

 

Times of India, Delhi, Monday 19th May 2014