The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has disposed of a review petition demanding that work on the Noida-Greater Noida Metro Link and a railway project across river Hindon be stopped until the two projects get the necessary environmental clearances.
The NGT also advised petitioner Vikrant Tongad to file an independent petition on the issue.
“This application is beyond the purview and scope of order XLVII, rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, read with Section 19 of the NGT Act. The learned counsel appearing for the applicant if so advised may file independent petition as pronouncement of law subsequent to the date of judgment would not be a ground for review of the judgment. Application is dismissed. No order as to cost,” said the order issued on Friday by the principal bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar.
Tongad had demanded for a review of NGT’s July 5 order that had made it mandatory for Indian Railway and Metro to obtain environmental clearance (EC) projects, but had said that the two bodies can obtain ECs without stopping work on the projects in question.
In his review petition, Tongad had contended that the two projects will affect the Hindon River, and the state of groundwater, air and wildlife in this area if they continue without meeting the environmental requirements needed to obtain an EC. Currently, 50% of the work on the Noida-Greater Noida Metro link is complete while the Indian Railways is shifting Hindon river’s alignment to build a bridge for a 140-km train track between Greater Noida and Rewari in Haryana.
The July 5 order had also been delivered in response to a petition filed by Tongad.
“In its July 5 order, the NGT directed the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) and Indian Railways to obtain ECs without stopping the ongoing work at the sites in Noida and Greater Noida. In the review petition, I demanded that the work be stopped because the two projects will damage ecology to a large extent before they get the ECs,” said Tongad, who is to file a fresh petition seeking that the work be stopped.
Tongad said that getting ECs after construction of both the projects is completed would be of no use as the damage would already have been done.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railways and NMRC are seeking ECs from respective authorities.
“We have applied for EC from UP state environment impact assessment authority. We will select a private consultant in the next 10 days to help us obtain EC without delay. Four consultants have applied for this job,” said VK Jain, deputy general manager, NMRC.