Taking note of the magnitude of the disaster in Uttarakhand, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has summoned the Ministry of Environment and Forest and the state government, to give details of upcoming projects pending clearance in the state and their ecological and environmental impact.
The bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar observed: “The disaster in Uttarakhand needs no evidence. Having being mindful of the damage caused to the ecology and environment of the state of Uttarakhand, it is a matter which certainly calls for interference by a specialised tribunal like NBT.”
It gave two weeks to the Centre and the state to respond and fixed July 26 to hear the matter further.
The tribunal has also sought to know on what basis the massive constructions were raised on the hills and whether there was permission to do so. And if the construction activity was approved, was it backed by the state’s zonal development plan.
Asking the state government to place on record the precautionary measures it has planned to prevent recurrence of such disaster, the tribunal also wants to know whether the state or the Centre ever carried out a study to ascertain the likelihood of damage to environment on account rampant development.