NGT notice to UP for constructing Haj House on Hindon floodplain

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Ghaziabad, Sep 2 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government for illegal construction of Haj House on the floodplains of Hindon River.

The Haj House is proposed to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sepember 5. The NGT has fixed the hearing of September 25.

On a petition filed by the Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity (SPEnBIO), the green tribunal has asked to a file reply on the next hearing on September 25.

Earlier, the convener of SPEnBIO Aakash Vashishtha submitted that the Uttar Pradesh State Haj Committee has constructed and proposed an expansion of a Haj House on 4.535 acre of land, some part of which falls in river Hindon and some parts on the flood plain of river Hindon in village Arthala in district Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

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It said the state Irrigation Department on December 2004 prepared a report with respect to making available land for construction of ‘Haj House’. This letter illegally stated that the land in question was a land of irrigation department while the revenue record shows it as ‘Hindon River’. It is also pertinent to note that the land for which NOC was granted was river land as per the revenue record.

It said that the state Chief Secretary has issued a direction dated 16.3.2010 to all the authorities including police to ensure that no construction is raised on the flood plain zone, but the construction continued, stated the petitioner.

The petitioner said that the state has violated the chief secretary’s directions by allowing such a huge construction to come up not only on the river bank but also on land recorded as river land by the Revenue records.

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It said that in compliance of the court’s order not to carry out construction activities, the Principal Secretary, Environment, submitted a status report on 26.11.2015.

It said that no action was taken till date and the state government has allowed the construction of Haj House on the river land and on the floodplain to continue.

It said the construction was in complete violation of the directions of the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner prayed to the court to direct for demolition of the Haj House, which is part of Hindon River and its floodplain and direction to pay damages and compensation under Polluter Pays principle for damaging and polluting the River Hindon as well as the floodplain. The court adjourned till September 25.

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