The Uttar Pradesh government has rejected the objections of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests’ inspection team on the upcoming Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial Park in Noida.
“We were not informed of the team’s visit on July 10,” a senior UP government official told a Supreme Court panel probing the suspected illegalities in the project. The panel is all set to submit its report.
Along with the apex court, the ministry had in July ordered a probe to verify the illegalities in the park, about which HT had first reported on July 5.
The team found the UP government has not acquired from the ministry the mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) certificates.
The certificates are mandatory because the park is located within 10 kms (the prohibited limit) of the centrally protected Okhla Bird Park and Wild Life Sanctuary.
Besides, according to the team, around 6,003 trees were felled without the ministry’s permission.
The UP government has not yet clarified why did it not seek an EIA certificate though it is only 30 metres away from the sanctuary. It has challenged the other two suspected illegalities.
A senior UP government official defended the park’s legality. “The (project’s) area of 33.43 hectare does not have (adverse) impact on the Okhla Sanctuary as the project is outside the latter’s boundary.”
The officer said the project’s site was not a notified forest before the construction work commenced and that it “would not adversely impact the migration pattern of birds”.