National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed the Madhya Pradesh pollution control board to constitute a committee of experts from the fields of engineering, medicine, environment and town planning to look into the violations, deviation and variance with respect to the original plan in the construction of a medical college and hospital at Kolar.
NGT also directed the management of the college and hospital to furnish the solvent security of Rs 1.5 crore to MPPCB as the entire project costs is Rs 115 Crores. NGT added that expenses of the probe committee would be borne out of Rs 10 lakhs already deposited by the college with the MPPCB.
The two-member central bench comprising justice Dalip Singh, judicial member Bikram Singh Sajwan, expert member gave these directions while hearing a case filed by Prem Dhingra. The next hearing in the case is on October 8.
Counsel for the petitioner Shantanoo Saxena said that the state environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA) had directed for stopping the construction of the medical college and hospital of Advance Medical Science and Education Society Kolar when it was just 10 percent complete in 2012.
He said that despite the direction, the construction continued and this year, SEIAA recommended the grant of environment clearance.
“We demanded NGT to probe how they continued with the construction and how SEIAA recommended granting of EC for the construction of the medical college and hospital despite the violations”, he said.
NGT stated that it has been pointed out that in 2012, SEIAA had taken up the issue of the grant of EC to the college.
The Tribunal stated that in June this year SEIAA directed the management of the medical college to stop the construction work, till prior EC is granted, failing which they would be liable for punishment under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
NGT said in its order that applicant maintained that the construction of the college had been done at variance with the approved plan and conditions put in the meeting of SEIAA in March this year.
NGT said the committee should look into the variance and diversion from the original plan submitted, the extent of deviation on the environmental issues such as the green belt, sewage and effluent treatment, removal of municipal solid waste and bio-medical waste and other relevant issues.
Counsel for the medical college and hospital Dharamveer Sharma told HT that construction was taken up as there was a condition in the lease granted by the state government that hospital should be functional within five years and constructions should be complete within two years.
“As the project got delayed in the litigation with the local villagers, state government cancelled the lease in 2010-11. After we won the case, we again got the lease and accordingly started the construction. This hospital is a charitable institution. We also informed SEIAA about the lease conditions and why we went ahead with the construction”, he said.