NGT directs joint team to submit report on vending zone in Vaishali
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed a joint team of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), the municipal corporation and the pollution control board to submit a report within a month on the vending zone being created in a playground in Sector 4, Vaishali.
Residents have been protesting against the vending zone, claiming that it is being made at the only playground in nine Vaishali sectors. Residents had approached the court against the vending zone saying that it will reduce the green cover in the area and will lead to illegal garbage dumping.
“The court was apprised of the current usage of the park and how the vending zone will disturb residents and add to pollution. The court has formed a committee and asked for an action taken report to be submitted by October 30,” Manu Yadav, advocate for the residents, said.
The case was heard on September 11 and the next date of hearing is December 10, when the court will look into the committee’s action taken report. The GDA has been made the nodal authority of the committee.
In 2017, residents had also won a case in the NGT, wherein the court had ordered that the area not be used as a dumping ground and that it be cleaned by the GDA.
According to residents, the playground is the only space available for children and a community area for social gatherings. Residents often use the playground for community events, Durga Puja celebrations, sports day on January 26 and wedding functions.
“There is no open community space for us. Now, the authority wants to take over the one space that we have maintained ourselves,” Sarshoti Dutta, a resident of Sector 2, Vaishali, said.
Other residents questioned the need for a vending zone when two such spaces already exist in the vicinity. A vending zone near Mahagun mall, popularly known as Bihari market, was also allotted to vendors, who have allegedly sold the plots and moved out.
The vends or kiosks have now been turned into permanent shops and the sanitation in the market area is a major concern.
“The vending zone nearby is empty and can be used if the space is compulsorily allotted to vendors. The existing area is filthy and unsafe and we are reluctant to even go there. If there is a vending zone in this playground, it will suffer the same fate and nobody will be able to use it,” Arvind Pandey, resident of Hindon Heights apartment in Sector 3, Vaishali, said.
Officials said that the committee will look into the matter and submit the report.
“I am not aware of the situation but we will visit the site, inspect all issues and submit the report in the interest of the people as well as the environment,” a senior official from the pollution control board said.