NGT rejects plea challenging widening of Golf Course Road in Gurgaon
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim rejected the plea filed by a former IFS officer noting that the widening project was being carried out on a sector road (Golf Course Road) and not a National Highwaygurgaon Updated: Oct 26, 2017 14:01 IST
The National Green Tribunal has junked a plea challenging a road-widening project being carried out by DLF and Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) in Sector 55-56.
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim rejected the plea filed by a former IFS officer noting that the widening project was being carried out on a sector road (Golf Course Road) and not a National Highway.
“On facts, we notice that the area comes within the sectors 55 and 56 and it is reasonable to believe that it not a National Highway,” the bench said.
“Besides, the applicant has not established that it was a National Highway and was a fresh road being laid which attracted the restriction of the National Forest Policy 1908 and provisions of Environment Protection Act, 1986, and rules made thereunder,” the bench said.
The green panel took into account the submissions made by the project proponent that they had chopped 1,055 trees after getting the requisite permission and even transplanted 10 times the number of trees chopped. A total of 11,000 trees have been planted, the tribunal noted.
The bench also agreed with the argument that the allegation of connivance between officials of Huda and DLF by the applicant was “nothing but revengeful action to tarnish their name”.
“We do not find reason to reject such a contention.However, we do not want to go into this question as that is not the issue for our consideration. Be that as it may, this observation was necessitated as the applicant himself wanted this tribunal to record that there was connivance between the DLF and officials of forest department, who granted the permission for felling 1,055 trees,” the bench said.
The judgment came on a plea filed by retired Indian Forest Service officer Rajinder Krishan Sharma alleging that DLF and HUDA have undertaken a road widening project in contravention of environmental laws, resulting in the total destruction of trees in the area.
The plea claimed that the project undertaken to widen the road leading to the NH-8 from the present width of 60m to 70m was not necessary and the activity being carried out was illegal and contrary to the provisions of “Environment Protection Act, 1986, Indian Forest Act 1927, Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and the Punjab Land Preservation Act of 1900”.