NGT slams Uttarakhand government on new Assembly building at Gairsain
Green tribunal questioned how the state government proceeded with the project without seeking mandatory clearances, stops short of imposing fine
The National Green Tribunal Wednesday slammed the Uttarakhand government for initiating construction of a new state legislative assembly building at Gairsain in Chamoli district without mandatory clearances.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, which stopped short of imposing environment compensation on the state, asked how could the dispensation start the project without getting environment clearance.
During the proceedings, the tribunal was informed by the state government that it has applied for grant of mandatory clearances and sought adjournment of the case.
The counsel for the state government said that since the secretary of Vidhan Sabha was out of country so more time be given in the case.
The bench then listed the case for hearing on November 24.
It had earlier issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Uttarakhand government on a plea seeking stay on construction of a new legislative assembly building of the State on the ground that the project lacked mandatory clearances.
The plea had contended that the project at Gairsain in central Uttarakhand was started without obtaining Environmental Clearance and consent needed under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control) Act, 1974 in the eco-fragile area of the Himalayas.
The plea moved by environment activist Vikrant Tongad had made State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, State Pollution Control Board, National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd and Central Ground Water Authority as parties in the case.
Tongad had said the project, which will come up on a 100- acre land parcel, will have the assembly building, offices catering to the assembly, MLA hostels for 60 residents, officers’ hostel for 60 residents, VIP residences for 16 ministers, residence for chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker and a helipad.
“The construction of Legislative Assembly building is being done in 100 acre land and total built up area is 20,812 sqmetres without obtaining Environmental Clearance under Environment Impact Assessment notification, 2006,” it had said.
The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, claimed that the sewage generated during the operation will be around 65 kilolitres a day, but no provision for installing a sewage treatment plant has been made.
“Pass an order staying the ongoing construction of the new legislative assembly of the State of Uttarakhand at Bharisain, Gairsain at the Chamoli district in the central part of Uttarakhand till the disposal of the plea,” the petition had said.