Farmers have written to the Centre and the state government, saying that the haphazard construction of high-rise residential towers has caused serious environmental concerns in Noida Extension villages.
The Gramin Panchayat Morcha (GPM) has written a letter to Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, besides other authorities in the state and central governments, seeking action "against the culprits".
GPM convener Ranveer Nagar told Hindustan Times on Sunday, "In case our concern is not paid heed to within a week, we will move the Allahabad high court. We had filed an RTI application some 40 days ago, seeking information from the
Greater Noida authority on land use, green belts, ponds, etc, but there has not been any reply yet."
"Our peacocks have died; the air is highly polluted — thick with dust all the time. Ponds have vanished. Many trees were felled without permission and some artificial plants have been installed. The green area has been reduced from 22% to 19%," he added.
"The Noida Extension area has been highly fertile with rich biodiversity — lush green fields, canals, ponds and palm trees. Local management committees (LMCs) of gram panchayats have been maintaining them. But the whole system has been damaged beyond repair," said farmer leader Dushyant Nagar.
"The floor area ratio (controlling the bulkiness of buildings) was raised to allow builders deliver more units, but it was done in violation of the rules," he said.
"Building 2.25 lakh houses in 11 villages is absurd," Dushyant added.
"It is mandatory to obtain environmental clearance from the Central government for carrying out construction in an area measuring more than 20,000 sqm. More than 70 builders have been carrying out construction activities, making the entire area barren, destroying grass fields and choking water bodies. There is a serious health hazard," said the Gramin Panchayat Morcha convener.