In a significant order, the Allahabad High Court on Monday directed that all the constructions and related activities with regard to Ganga Expressway from Ballia to Noida shall cease forthwith.
Justice DP Singh passed this order on a contempt application filed by Ganga Maha Sabha Varanasi and Mahant Narendra Giri, Math Baghambari Gaddi, Allahpur, Allahabad. The petitioners have alleged that inspite of court's stay order dated May 29, 2009, the authorities concerned are proceeding to construct the Ganga Expressway.
While issuing notices to Atul Kumar Gupta, chief secretary of UP and Ravindra Singh, Chief Executive Officer UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority and three others, the court has fixed December 2,2009 as the next date of hearing of this case and has also directed them to file reply by that time.
Apart from chief secretary, the court issued notices to Rama Kant Shukla, District Magistrate Mirzapur, Shrish Chand Srivastava, additional district magistrate, Mirzapur and Sripati Mishra additional superintendent of police, Mirzapur. Chief standing counsel, who represents state government in the court, accepted the notice on behalf of these authorities. The court also issued notice to Manoj Gaud, chairman/managing director JP Infrastructure Corporation Limited.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioners, their counsel Arun Kumar Gupta submitted that a Division Bench of this court on May 29, 2009 had ordered to stop the construction of eight lane Ganga Expressway until and unless the prior environmental clearance is obtained.
He alleged that inspite of the above order, the respondent authorities are proceeding with Ganga Expressway in the garb of survey etc. On the instructions of chief secretary and Chief Executive Officer, the District Magistrates have issued instructions that the office of Manoj Gaur, chairman/managing director of JP Infrastructure corporation Limited should be given protection and they should be permitted to proceed on work on Ganga Expressway, he alleged.
Counsel further submitted that landowners of Mirzapur district have given representation to stop the work. Further, on October 23, 2009, SDM Mirzapur wrote letter to Tehsildar Sadar to be present on the spot as the work of Ganga Expressway is going to start on October 26, 2009. “As the government has permitted the private builder to proceed Ganga Expressway in the garb of survey, they have ruined the standing corps of the farmers”, he contended.