The Central Ministry of Environment and Forests told Supreme Court panel probing suspected illegalities at Noida’s Bhim Rao Ambedkar Park, that it would file a fresh affidavit in the matter.
“The ministry has told the panel that it should ignore the affidavit we had filed on August 22,” said a ministry official who is not authorized to talk to media.
This development came a week after the Ministry, in a volte-face, told the panel the project has not violated any environment laws.
The ministry’s August 22 response, which toed the state government’s line, said the project’s “covered construction covered just 9,542 square m” and fell “much below the EIA notification’s limit of 20,000 square metre” and its site had not been a “deemed forest”.
The response had made no mention of the fact whether it had got the state government’s version on the size of the “covered construction” and the site’s status as a non-forest verified by any qualified authority before it decided to accept it.
In fact, the state government had itself told the panel on August 12 that the site’s “covered construction area” was 9, 542 square metres while the area under “hard landscaping” was sized at 1.29 lakh square meter.
“Under the EIA notification, the built-up area includes covered construction area and also the area under hard landscaping,” said the source.
“The Noida Authority (NA) that is executing the project, is only taking into account the size of the Central Park Plaza at the park as covered construction area which is erroneous.”