GDA flouts NGT order staying construction of club

Ghaziabad, Jan 24 (IANS) The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has flouted an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that stayed the construction of a club and kiosks on a green space along a posh residential colony.

This IANS correspondent on Sunday visited the site in Sector 8 in Raj Nagar and found that construction activity was on in full swing.

No supervisor-level officer was found at the site while labourers engaged in the activity say they have no knowledge of any restriction on the construction.

“We have been ordered to carry out the work,” a worker said on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, in its January 20 order, the NGT stayed the construction, saying it was being carried out in a green belt area. The next date of hearing is February 16.

“Barely four days after the NGT’s stay order, we were shocked to see construction going on in full swing at the multi-storey club… with a 20-foot-deep basement, which is another violation of the Supreme Court’s orders allowing digging only up to five feet, that too manually,” said Akash Vashishtha, president of the Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity.

The NGT had asked the respondents — GDA, Housing Board, UPSIDC, UP Pollution Control Board and Municipal Corporation — to file a reply on a petition by the society.

However, when the respondents did not reply by January 20, the NGT said the right to file a reply was forfeited, and stayed the construction.

The petition raised the issue of encroachment on the green belt, and dumping of rubble and hazardous waste on green belts across the city.

The petitioner prayed to the NGT to demolish and remove illegal structures being built on green belts, and stop disposal of solid waste and discharge of sewage, and order afforestation on a massive scale.

It also sought all records of plantation in the last 10 years.

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