The Ghaziabad municipal corporation on Friday cleared two proposals for fencing nearly 100 acres of the city forest area and cementing a major drain that has damaged hundreds of trees in the region near river Hindon close to GT Road.
The two proposals were tabled in the corporation’s house meeting on Friday and later approved. The move comes after the corporation faced flak from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over the depleted condition of Sai Upvan city forest area.
“The two proposals have been cleared. The fencing will make sure there is no human interference and that cattle do not enter the green area. The cementing of the drain will cost around `4.48 crore. Infrastructure development funds will be used for the purpose,” said DK Sinha, additional municipal commissioner.
Sai Upvan is one of the two designated city forest areas, apart from the city forest in Karhera near Hindon air base, in Ghaziabad under the Master Plan 2021. Recently, the society for protection of environment and biodiversity (SpenBio) had filed a petition with the NGT. It had also raised the issue of illegal dumping of garbage and solid waste in the green areas.
Following the petition, the NGT directed the corporation to submit a time-bound plan for a cleanup process. The corporation sought four months to clean the area. This was followed by the corporation’s decision to cement the drain and fence the forest region to protect it.
“Cementing the drain and fencing the forest area is just a subsidiary measure to the primary issue of installation of a sewage treatment plant. The STP is required to make sure that river Hindon is not polluted. All departments should bear the responsibility to accomplish the objective,” said Akash Vashistha, environmentalist from SpenBio.
A sewage treatment plant is essential in the region as the non-cemented drain passing through the city forest area empty untreated sewage into river Hindon.
In yet another petition to save Sai Upvan forest area, the Allahabad high court in an interim order in October 2012, had directed the corporation to act immediately. The corporation was asked to cement the drain. The court had also asked the corporation to construct a sewage treatment plant to save Hindon river. However, the corporation has failed to adhere to the court directions and no sewage treatment plant has been constructed in the region.