The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday said Metro projects must have environment clearance from state environment impact assessment authorities before work begins on the ground.
The NGT order comes in response to a petition filed by Noida-based environmental activist, Vikrant Tongad, who demanded that as per the EIA 2006 notification, environmental clearances must be obtained for Metro projects.
“Our plea was that why didn’t DMRC and Noida Metro Rail Corporation, building 30km Noida-Greater Noida Metro link, seek environmental clearances before starting work in 2014. We questioned why DMRC did not take environmental clearances for its projects. Today, NGT said DMRC will have to seek post facto environmental clearances for Noida-Greater Noida Metro projects. Even for other Metro projects the clearance will be required,” said Rahul Chaudhary, advocate, on behalf of the petitioner.
“DMRC has not yet received the copy of NGT’s order regarding environmental clearances for Metro projects. Once DMRC receives the order, we will examine it and take appropriate action,” said Anuj Dyal, DMRC spokesperson.
On April 27, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had told the NGT that there was no need to obtain environmental clearances for Metro projects.
Petitioner Tongad had said that without such clearances, the Metro project would affect the ecology of Noida and Greater Noida.
The NGT had sought replies from the environment ministry, DMRC and the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) on October 26, 2015, after Tongad’s petition.