NGT orders action against real estate developer Ansal for flouting norms in Sushant Lok-1
The committee which conducted investigation in Sushant Lok in October, found that the developer Ansal API Limited had committed a large number of environmental violations, such as encroachments in green areas, illegal extraction of ground water, dumping of untreated sewage in stormwater drains, among others.gurgaon Updated: Jan 14, 2019 14:46 IST
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its order issued on January 8, 2019, has ordered action against the developer of Sushant Lok-1 for several environmental violations committed within the premises of the residential colony.
Shushant Lok-1 was developed by Ansal API Limited in the late 1980s, and the colony is spread across sectors 27, 28, 43, and 52 of the city.
In September 2018, the NGT had received a complaint in this regard from a resident of the colony, following which it appointed a five-member committee, comprising officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the district town planning department, the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture, the Central Groundwater Authority(cwga) and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority(seiaa), and ordered it to submit a factual report.
The committee was led a CPCB official. It conducted investigation in Sushant Lok in October and found that the developer had committed a large number of environmental violations, such as encroachments in green areas, illegal extraction of ground water, dumping of untreated sewage in stormwater drains, raising illegal constructions, among others. The committee submitted its report to the NGT in October, 2018.
“Committee’s report has revealed encroachments like hutment for security/labors, DG sets, kitchen gardens in earmarked green areas. And green belts have not been developed according to the norms of the licence by the developer as well [sic]” stated the NGT order, directing the committee to exercise its statutory power to take action against the violations within three months.
A member of the committee, on condition of anonymity said, “The CPCB will send notices to all the concerned government departments to implement the NGT order.”
However, Ansal API Limited, which developed Sushant Lok, said that the developer has not committed any violations.
Abhishek Aggarwal, senior vice president of Ansal API,” said, “We will not say anything about the violations mentioned in the report, but to be fair on our part, we have not committed any such violations at all.”
Town and country planning department, Haryana, granted licence to Ansal API in 1980s to develop Sushant Lok-1, located along the MG Road. However, the residential colony is likely to be handed over to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) for civic maintenance.
“It is also clear that despite serious violations, all the concerned officials have failed to perform their duties in taking statutorily actions to fix the violations and specially the Town and Country Planning Department appears to have colluded with the developer[sic],” said NGT order said, directing the CPCB, which headed the committee, to exercise its statutory power to determine and recover the damages and initiating prosecution in accordance with the law.
Sudhir Chauhan, senior town planner (STP), Gurugram, said, “We have not received the order yet. We will comment only after we get details of the order.”
The residents of Sushant Lok -1 have raised the issues of environmental violations, such as illegal groundwater extractions through tube wells, improper rain water harvesting system and suchlike, from time to time.
Yatish Goel, advocate of the complainant, said, “The local officials turned a blind eye to the complaints of the residents of Sushant Lok all these years. Therefore, we decided to move the NGT, which heard our case three times since September and appointed a high power committee to look into the complaints of violations. Our complaints were verified and found to be genuine.”
First Published: Jan 14, 2019 14:45 IST