The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the chief secretary of state to hold a meeting with all public authorities of Ghaziabad and pass appropriate directions to restore green belts in the city.
The green court directed the chief secretary to submit a compliance report in one month and a final report before the next hearing of the case listed on October 28.
The four member bench, headed by chairperson of NGT, Justice Swantanter Kumar passed the directions while hearing a petition filed by Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity (SPENBio), an NGO and Sushil Raghav, social and environment activist.
The order stated that none of the authorities are concerned about the green belt or are working in accordance with law.
“There are various public authorities in whose jurisdiction the green belts fall, apparently action are required to be taken by multiple authorities and none of them seem to be reacting expeditiously and in accordance with law. Whether the area falls under the jurisdiction of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC), UP State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC), Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), Corporations and Committee or are responsible for maintaining the green belt and ensure that there is no environment and ecological adverse impact,” the order said.
According to the petition, the 2001 master plan of GDA had earmarked almost half of the city as green area and there were ample number of green belts. However, in the 2021 master plan, this was reduced to just six green belts in the city.
“Our petition challenges the GDA that how can six green belts cater to the ever-growing population of Ghaziabad which is reaching approximately 18 lakh. Moreover, according to the orders of the high court, the basic character of a city cannot be changed by an authority in the master plan,” said Akash Vashishtha, convenor, SPENBio.
He added that apart from this there are 28 green belts in the city which are under jurisdiction of various authorities including GMC, UPSIDC and others.
“We have submitted an affidavit in the court proving that the condition of these 28 green belts is very poor and the green cover of the city is dying and nothing is being done by the authorities to revive it,” he said.
Apart from this, there are three other green covers in the city, which include the Sai Upvan, Kanha Upvan also called city forest and Madhuban Bapudham forest in Sadarpur which are also mentioned in the petition saying that they are not being taken care of by the authorities.