In a major setback to realty major DLF and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has made a clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) mandatory for the construction of a freeway corridor connecting a mall with sectors 55 and 56.
Also, the NGT has directed the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) to file an affidavit to acquire an environmental clearance from the MoEF for felling 1,057 trees in the greenbelt area there.
“Acquiring an environment clearance depends upon which notification the project and area fall under,” said Balraj Ahlawat, regional officer, HSPCB.
The direction came on Thursday during the second hearing of the National Media Centre’s (NMC) petition against developer DLF, Huda, HSPCB, MoEF, the Central Pollution Control Board, the state of Haryana, the deputy commissioner of Gurgaon division and the police commissioner of Gurgaon.
The residents filed the petition after Huda and DLF axed down 50 trees in the community’s greenbelt area last month to construct the sector road.
“The court has also directed HSPCB to ensure that not a single tree is felled in the disputed area. Moreover, the court has questioned the district forest officer’s permission for cutting down the trees. This clearly suggests that an environment impact assessment clearance report was not acquired from the concerned authorities before the project’s implementation,” said Sanjay Ahirwal, a resident of NMC.
The NGT bench, headed by Justice P Jyothimani, further said that it was unable to arrive at a conclusion as to whether the activity questioned in the present matter pertains to widening of the national highway or the sector road.
For this, it has directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to file an affidavit to make necessary amendments.
The felling of 50 trees is part of the clearance of the greenbelt, comprising 1,057 trees, for a freeway corridor project costing around R600 crore.
The respondent parties have been directed to file their affidavits by July 10, the next date of hearing.