The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a bailable warrant against two Noida-based construction companies, Assotech Realty Pvt Ltd and Panchsheel Greens 2, for flouting its earlier directive regarding misuse of groundwater at construction sites.
On August 9, 2015, the NGT in a notice directed 14 realtors, including Assotech Realty Pvt Ltd and Panchsheel Greens 2 to reply to allegations of misuse of groundwater within 15 days. The two builders failed to follow the directive, the tribunal stated.
“Issue a bailable warrant against the managing director/managing partner of noticee number 4 (Assotech Realty Pvt Ltd) and 10 (Panchsheel Greens 2), Greater Noida west for the sum of `20,000 to the satisfaction of the arresting officer, in exercise of our powers and in terms of the provision of Section 19 (4) (a) of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, for securing his presence before us on the next date of hearing,” the order said.
The green court pulled up the two builders for failing to be present before the tribunal.
After inspecting construction sites, an NGT-appointed local commission said in his report that 14 realtors in Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Delhi were found misusing groundwater. A Gurgaon-based construction agency also said that it did not get the local commission’s report and notices.
“Noticees (realtors) may obtain copies of the report of the local commissioner from the registry and obtain copies of the inspection reports from the websites of the respective authorities. They should respond to it before the next date of hearing,” said the order.
The next date of hearing has been scheduled on November 19, 2015.
“I know the local commissioner had conducted inspections on our site. But we are adhering to all laid-down norms and not extracting groundwater. I will look at the NGT order,” said Neeraj Gulati, managing director of Assotech Realty Pvt Ltd.
The tribunal has also directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to upload the report filed by the local commissioner and the notice copy on its website.
“I will comment on the issue once the NGT order reaches me officially,” said Anuj Chaudhary, director of Panchsheel Greens 2.
On August 19, 2013, the NGT had appointed a team of local commissioners to carry out inspections at construction sites to check whether realtors were adhering to environmental norms. This came after a Greater Noida resident, Vikrant Tongad, filed a petition alleging that groundwater was being used for construction purposes. Following the petition, the NGT on January 11, 2013, banned extraction of groundwater by builders for all purposes.