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NGT dismisses petition for demolition of Ghaziabad Haj House, tells UP Haj panel to install sewage treatment plant

Green tribunal also directed UP pollution control board to inspect the premises within a week’s time. It said if there is no STP of the specific capacity found installed at the Haj House, the facility should be sealed

noida Updated: Feb 17, 2018 23:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
NGT,National Green Tribunal,Ghaziabad Haj House
The Ala Hazrat Haj House was built along GT Road at cost of ₹51 cr. The facility, inaugurated in 2016, is yet to start operation.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) dismissed a petition which sought demolition of the Ala Hazrat Haj House, constructed near river Hindon along GT Road in Ghaziabad. However, the green court also directed the UP Haj Committee to ensure installation of a sewage treatment plant to treat the domestic effluent.

Petitioner Himanshu Mittal, and two others, had moved a petition in the green court seeking demolition of the already constructed Haj House, contending that the facility has come up on three chunks of land—khasra numbers 1402, 1403 and 1399, falling under the floodplain zone of river Hindon.

According to the petitioners, the revenue record and ‘Khatauni’ of the year 1992 stated the land chunk numbers 1402 and 1403 to be ‘river Hindon’, while land chunk 1399 was stated to be barren land. The petitioner also pleaded the building’s removal under the March 2010 order by the UP government, which directed, among other things, removal of constructions falling in the river’s floodplain zone.

The petitioners also challenged the legality of the land parcels’ leased to the UP Haj Committee.

In their replies in December, 2016, the state government and Ghaziabad district magistrate revealed that the Haj House is partly situated in Khasra number 1399 and partly in 1402 and 1403, according to the report of the deputy collector. The replies added that the Haj House was constructed after the parcel of land was leased out by the UP irrigation department through a January 11, 2005, government order as the land in reference was shown as ‘community facility land’ under Master Plan 2021.

A status report—filed in May, 2017 by the state of UP, Ghaziabad district magistrate and the irrigation department—further stated: “Khasra Number 1399 is registered as banjar (barren) land in revenue records but it is vested in irrigation department. It is further submitted that the total area of khasra numbers 1399 is 16.25 acres, out of which only 3.547 acre land, which is outside the floodplain, has been leased out (to the Haj Committee) and the remaining part of 12.703 acre is still in river flood/bed area, which is not leased out by the irrigation department.”

It was further stated that the irrigation department has separated the river bed and floodplain area in year 1970 by constructing an embankment.

In view of this information, the tribunal dismissed the petition for demolition of the Haj House, stating, “In such circumstances, particularly after having observed that this (land) does not fall in the floodplain zone, we are of the considered opinion that demolition of the Haj House is not called for. However, in the interest of environment we pass the following order.”

It directed the UP Haj Committee to ensure that there is an STP to treat the domestic effluent of 136 KLD (kilolitres per day), installed and commissioned at the site as per the requirements of the UP pollution control board.

It also directed that the pollution control board inspect the premises within a week’s time, and in event of there being no STP of the specific capacity been found installed at the Haj House, the facility should be sealed.

The NGT gave liberty to the UP Haj Committee to approach the tribunal for de-sealing after full compliance of the directions of the pollution board.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 23:16 IST