A petitioner through a fresh plea on Friday objected to 100 meters of eco-zone around Noida’s Okhla bird sanctuary. The National Green Tribul admitted the plea and issued notices to the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), the Noida authority and other concerned authorities.
NGT has also said that the Noida authority’s any action pertaining to 40 realty projects shall be subject to scrutiny by tribunal. It means if the authority gives occupation certificates to any builder now the tribunal can take a view (cancel or approve) on it, said legal experts. The Noida authority said it has issued occupation certificates to two out of 40 residential projects located in 10 km periphery around Okhla sanctuary. One 648 flats project is of Supreme Court bar association located in Sector 99 and another project of 1000 flats is of ATS builder located in Sector 104.
Next hearing of this case is scheduled on September 14. The fresh petition is filed by Delhi resident Praveer Kumar, said his advocate Gaurav Bansal.
The fresh case may spell trouble for nearly one lakh home-buyers, who are failing to get possession of flats for 2-3 years. Because of an earlier petition, which was filed in 2013, in NGT, Noida realtors and home-buyers were affected. On August 19, the MoEF issued a notification and settled the matter, paving way for realtors to give possession of flats to buyers.
“Following Supreme Court orders on environmental clearances around wildlife areas, MOEF notified an eco-zone on periphery of Okhla bird sanctuary, adhering to all laid down procedures. Once MoEF has declared eco-zone and earmarked boundaries, the matter is resolved. Fresh plea will be resolved as per law and projects will be unaffected because the Centre has already given its green nod for projects,” said Getamber Anand, President, CREDAI National and CMD of ATS Infrastructure Ltd one of the 40 builders affected with eco zone issue.
The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) had on August 19, issued a notification specifying boundaries of eco-zone around Noida’s sanctuary, and cleared all 40 realty projects including residential and commercial, which were struck for over two years. MoEF had notified 100 meters area on sanctuary’s Kalindi Kunj bridge side, where realtors have their under-construction shopping malls and residential towers. On other side towards DND flyway, the ministry had approved 1.27 km area as eco zone. However, petitioner alleged that new eco zone boundary is made to benefit builders, and it will destroy wildlife habitat.
“No Noida realtors, who have projects in 10 km radius of sanctuary has taken wildlife clearances before starting construction on ground. Earlier NGT had directed builders to first obtain wildlife clearances from national board for wildlife (NBWL) before going ahead with their projects. But that direction has been flouted. And MOEF has notified eco-zone without asking wildlife clearances from Noida builders. We demand that laid down environmental norms should be followed before allowing construction around Okhla. Also, I have challenged MOEF notification because it has reduced eco zone to mere 100 meters,” said Gaurav Bansal on behalf of his petitioner.
The petitioner alleged that the Centre has bowed down to pressure from realtors and reduced eco-zone to mere 100 meters, paving way for destruction of wildlife habitat in and around Okhla. Home-buyers are agitated lot again with fresh trouble.
“When MoEF has taken more than a year time to issue notification after following proper procedures then why now this fresh petition needed. Before notification, MoEF and UP had demanded objections from general public on eco-zone. Why did not the advocate or petitioner file an objection? The fresh case will end up harassing innocent middleclass buyers, who are failing to get possession for more than 2 years,” said Kapil Kumar, a buyer.