Environmental clearance must for railway projects, says NGT
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has made it mandatory to obtain environmental clearances for Indian Railway projects before any work begins on the ground.
The NGT bench, headed by the tribunal’s chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, delivered the order on Tuesday in response to a petition filed by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad.
In a petition filed on May 3, 2016, Tongad alleged that the Indian Railways project of laying 140km new track from Noida in UP to Rewari in Haryana will affect the ecology of the area because the Hindon River’s 800-metre stretch in Noida is being averted without obtaining environmental clearance (EC).
Indian Railways argued before the tribunal that its projects are exempted from obtaining EC as they are big infrastructure projects of national importance.
“But NGT did not go by Indian Railways counsel’s argument and made it clear that a railway project should obtain EC, like Delhi Metro projects,” Rahul Chaudhary, advocate on behalf of the petitioner, said.
Tongad is all set to file another petition in the NGT demanding a stay order on the work at Hindon River in Noida.