The National Green Tribunal on Thursday will hear a petition for admission against alleged environmental violations for organising a three-day ‘Vaicharik Mahakumbh’ during Simhastha fair at Ninora in Ujjain.
During the hearing for admission on Tuesday, the Tribunal found certain shortcomings in the petition on technical grounds and allowed the petitioner to amend the petition, said counsel for the petitioner Joseph Thomas.
The petition was filed by activist Ajay Dubey following media reports about alleged violation of environmental norms while preparing the venue in Indore for the mega event that will start on May 12.
HT had reported on May 10 that agricultural land was flattened, irrigation lines damaged and electric poles and trees uprooted to make way for the ‘Vichar Mahakumbh’ in Ninora, a hamlet 10 km from Ujjain, to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The MP government had issued notices to 62 farmers in October, 2015 and acquired 550 bigha farm land for the event.
Thomas said during the hearing for admission, it was felt that certain amendments were required in the petition.
“The Tribunal was kind enough to permit the petitioner to make the amendments. The NGT wanted to know whether petitioner had personal knowledge about the environmental violations or it had based its petition on the media reports only,” Thomas said adding that the NGT asked if the petitioner had personal knowledge about the violations, then the same should be submitted before the Tribunal as an affidavit.
According to the amended petition, the applicant confirmed that trees were cut for the ‘Vaicharik Mahakumbh’ without obtaining valid permission from the authority concerned under the Madhya Pradesh Vriksh Parikshan Adhiniyam 2001.
Dubey said it was an absurd idea to hold Vaicharik Mahakumbh on the theme of environment and climate change at Ninora by cutting trees at the same place. “What message will it send at the international level?” he asked.
The amended petition
The government has not made adequate arrangements for management of waste that will be generated during the three-day event. This may cause health hazards to the people of Ninora village and to the environment at large.
The asbestos sheets containing carcinogenic substances have been used in huge quantities to build temporary toilets. Also, bitumen has been used for construction of roads and helipads. Both these items fall under the category of hazardous substances under the environment protection norms.