Taking a tough stand, the central bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday rejected the plea of Madhya Pradesh government in which it had sought more time for compliance of NGT’s orders regarding protecting and cleaning of Shahpura Lake in Bhopal.
The bench, while hearing the case filed by environmentalist Subash Pandey, gave a day to the state government to come up with a stage-wise action plan for Shahpura Lake. Accordingly, the next hearing in the case has been fixed on September 19.
In its order the NGT directed the commissioner Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) as well as the secretary urban administration department to file affidavits giving stage-wise action plan with dates for commissioning and completion of each of the steps that are required to be taken for protection and cleaning of the lake.
The NGT directed that the action plan should be in accordance with the report of the consultant on Shahpura Lake project, which had already been considered and received by BMC, adding that the meeting with regard to the same had already been convened and the report sent to urban administration department.
The counsel for the state government moved an application on Thursday seeking extension of time for compliance of NGT’s August 12 order. However, NGT made it clear that they cannot provide more time.
In its order, NGT stated, "We are afraid that we cannot accept the application. This matter was filed before this tribunal in June 2013 and from July 2, 2013, after the notices were issued.Preventive action which should have been taken by now has not been taken. Also long term plans in this behalf based upon the reports of the Consultant are yet to commence."
On August 12, counsel for the state had informed NGT that the urban administration department had received the report on Shahpura Lake, submitted by the consultant which had been sent by BMC after due approval.
He had further stated that the meeting of representatives of BMC, MP Pollution Control Board and officials from the government for consideration of the report would be convened within 10 days and a presentation would be given by the consultant and subsequently outcome and the decision of the meeting would be submitted before the tribunal.
The bench had ordered the respondents to file their response with regard to the outcome of the meeting and the presentation by September 15.