Following the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), on a petition filed by a Ghaziabad resident, the Ghaziabad district authorities have finalised a policy to curb the rampant concreting exercise and submitted it before the tribunal.
The committee has recommended, among other things, a prohibition of cement concrete, interlocking tiles and blacktop roads while undertaking development works on water bodies.
The guidelines have also identified the type of material to be used while undertaking infrastructure works related to water bodies, ponds, lakes, permanent construction in parks and on roadsides.
For the development works related to water bodies, the policy has laid down standards of using fly ash bricks, and straight burnt over bricks. Permeable or semi-permeable blocks are to be put over 2.10 metre width and a clay revetment is to be made around reservoirs, ponds and lakes.
The committee has decided that natural drainage from nearby areas would be allowed into water bodies but no untreated industrial discharge is permitted.
For footpaths, only stabilised soil, coarse sand and granular sub-base is allowed to be used. Also, the total area for the boundary wall, footpath, fountains and works of public utilities should not exceed more than 5% of the total area of the park, the guidelines said.
For roadsides, only perforated blocks, fly ash and straight burnt over bricks should be used for a specific width, the guidelines stated.
It also recommended that footpath can only be a maximum of 1.5 metres while the rest of the area should be left vacant for drains, sewage and other infra works.
The petition was filed by Akash Vashistha in 2013. While disposing of the petition in August last year, the tribunal had ordered the formation of a committee -- comprising senior officials from Ghaziabad, IIT Delhi and horticulture department of Uttar Pradesh -- to frame a policy to curb concreting of spaces. After several meetings, the administration finally framed the guidelines and submitted it before the tribunal.
“The policy report is submitted before the NGT and also forwarded to state government. We will comply with any further directions passed by the tribunal,” said Vimal Kumar Sharma, district magistrate, Ghaziabad.
“Since the policy is sent to the state government, it should be adopted across the state and all agencies should be directed to adopt the provisions with strict compliance. Due to rampant concreting, the groundwater recharge has suffered and the guidelines will help in its restoration. We also appeal to the government to get the guidelines implemented with retrospective effect,” Vashistha said.