NGT slams Agra administration over encroachment

Agra, Aug 10 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has slammed the Agra administration and government agencies for submitting wrong details pertaining to encroachment in the flood plains of the Yamuna here.

A petitioner. D.K. Joshi, had alleged that more than a dozen builders had built unauthorized multi-storey apartment buildings on the Yamuna flood plains without getting NOCs from different departments.

Dissatisfied with the inaction and indifference of the Agra Development Authority and the divisional commissioner, the NGT has ordered its own Registrar to conduct a fresh survey of the area on Friday.

The local departmental heads and the police chief have been directed to provide help and support required for the exercise.

Joshi, a 78-year-old environmentalist, told IANS: “I have been fighting a lone battle against a corrupt bureaucracy in league with colonisers and powerful tainted politicians who have all ganged against me and are trying to gobble up all the land along the river.

“I am helpless and extremely sad. But nature will take its own revenge,” he said.

The NGT has outlined the role of the Registrar and set out the terms of the inquiry he is supposed to conduct.

The identified structures in the flood plains have to be measured from the edge of the river, the 2010 flood marks to be identified and the sign posts put up by the UP Irrigation Department checked.

While some buildings are right on the edge of the river, others are between 200 and 100 metres from the Yamuna.

Rahul Choudhary, counsel for the petitioner, told IANS: “It will now be virtually impossible for anyone to mislead the court which has taken a stern view of the situation.”



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