The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued a notice to the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF), the Haryana government, the forest department, the revenue department and a city-based private hospital for destroying a green belt in Jharsa Bundh. The tribunal has sought reply to the notice within a week.
The green court was hearing a plea filed by Vinod Kumar, a resident of Sector 38 and works for a NGOSarv Jan Kalyan Sewa Samiti. In the plea, filed on January 31, Kumar said Jharsa bundh, a notified forest area, has been encroached upon by a private hospital located adjacent to the bundh, which was built around 150 years ago by Begum Samru, ruler of Sardhana near Meerut, in the 19th century.
The bundh was notified on October 6, 1972, and is currently under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram.
“The hospital has not only removed the soil and cut trees but has also started dumping garbage and hazardous material, which is a source of grave pollution and causes serious damage to the environment, in the green belt” the petition said.
Petitioner’s counsel Vipin Gupta said, “The court has issued notices seeking a reply from all parties involved in the case. The next hearing is on March 7.”
The petitioner has sought the tribunal’s intervention for a proper and complete implementation of the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, the Environment Protection Act and other statutory laws.
Further, the plea also pointed out that the dumping of garbage has fouled the environment, leading to an increase in air pollution.
“The hospital also built a wall and a storage tank for hazardous substance over the encroached land of the bundh, which could lead to an untoward incident in future,” the petition said.
The Haryana forest department officials said that they will submit a report to the NGT once they receive the notice. “We will take action and give our observation,” said an official from the forest department.