Environmentalists on Monday complained about dumping of soil on the banks of Hindon near GT Road to officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which is constructing pillars for the Dilshad Garden-Ghaziabad metro project at the location.
Vikrant Sharma, an environmentalist, lodged a written complaint with DMRC’s chief project manager in Delhi. He said filling the banks of river Hindon on both sides with soil amounts to obstructing flow of the river.
“Only a small stream is allowed to flow below the river Hindon Bridge. The agency has dumped tonnes of soil on the river banks. This is leading to pollution, damage of ecology and will pose problems during the approaching monsoon. Soil has been dumped despite the Uttar Pradesh government adopting the river for a rejuvenation project ,” Sharma said.
Other activists said that they will approach the National Green Tribunal over the issue.
“A petition regarding river Hindon being heard at NGT. Ghaziabad agencies are also a party to the case. Any dumping should have been with prior permission from the NGT. We will place the issue before the court soon,” advocate Dipesh Chaudhary, who is contesting the petition at NGT, said.
In its directions on September 1, 2015, NGT had directed the district magistrate, officials of the development authority and municipal corporation to ensure no dumping or burning of waste takes place.
“... We direct that the any person, authority, officers or official shall not throw, dump and/or burn any municipal solid waste and other wastes anywhere in the district Ghaziabad particularly on the bank of river Hindon and road adjacent thereto,” the tribunal had ordered.
Spokesperson for DMRC said the construction of the project is underway.
“The work near the Hindon will be completed by July 2016. We have carefully chosen to work in summer as the water flow is comparatively slower. We will remove the earth from the banks as soon as the construction work is completed and also restore the water channel completely,” the spokesperson said.
On the other hand, Ravindra Godbole, GDA’s acting vice-chairman and secretary, denied having any knowledge of permission taken by DMRC from the UP irrigation department for dumping activity in the river zone. He referred the matter to the engineer in-charge, Ashutosh Srivastava.
“This is a temporary arrangement as the area has to be dry for the construction activity. The UP irrigation department should know about the issue,” Srivastava said.
The area around Hindon falls under the jurisdiction of the UP irrigation department. A senior official with the irrigation department said, “I do not know whether any permission for dumping activity was undertaken by DMRC. We will check on the issue.”