The National Green Tribunal recently prohibited construction of the Hindon elevated road over two land chunks due to lack of environment clearance (EC). In a hearing on July 20, the tribunal granted Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) time to file an affidavit on the issue of EC.
The 10.3km under-construction elevated road is a UP government priority project, at a budget of Rs.1,147 crore. It is proposed to connect Raj Nagar Extension to UP Gate.
“There shall be no construction during the pendency of this application at Khasra nos 1450 and 1453 at village Arthala Pargana Loni, Tehsil and district Ghaziabad without obtaining EC (sic),” the court had stated in its July 18 order.
Petitioner Sushil Raghav had contended that 11 chunks of land, including numbers 1450 and 1453, were transferred by the district magistrate in 1992 to the forest department for development of a bird sanctuary. He moved NGT in a bid to remove all constructions and restore ponds to their original form over the land for a bird sanctuary.
During the July 20 hearing, GDA officials contended before the court that EC was not required as elevated road is an extension of an existing road — Master Plan Road.
They said that due to the paucity of land and presence of green belt, protected forest area, it was not possible to widen the existing road on ground, due to which the elevated road was planned.
“The tribunal has allowed us time to file an affidavit on the issue of EC. As per the July 18 order, we have stopped construction activity over the two land chunks, 1450 and 1453,” Chakresh Jain, executive engineer of GDA, said.
Jain said that as per documents relating dating to 1873, the two land chunks belong to the UP irrigation department and permission was taken for road construction.
However, the petitioner contended that the elevated road is not an extension of any road as claimed by GDA.
“Its elevated area is nearly 2.5 lakh sqm and requires an EC from Central government. As per revenue record of 1952, land number 1450 is a pond and 1453 is registered as banjar (barren). The two are part of 11 chunks that were resumed (transferred) by the then district magistrate,” Raghav said.
The land is yet to be declared a bird sanctuary as per the provisions of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.