The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the Centre to take an appropriate decision on the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments’ proposal recommending creation of an eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
A Bench headed by Justice P. Jyothimani also directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to visit various projects within 10 km of the sanctuary and verify the correctness of the information tendered by builders, on the basis of which they have secured environmental clearance. The tribunal’s order came after petitioner Amit Kumar’s counsel Gaurav Bansal submitted that builders had secured clearance by furnishing false information. Mr. Kumar had moved the NGT against various builders constructing projects within the eco-sensitive zone of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary situated on the Delhi-U.P. border.
The tribunal also asked the Delhi government to send its proposal about the eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary to the Ministry of Environment and Forests within 15 days.
During the hearing, U.P. submitted that it had sent its proposal recommending a 100-metre eco-sensitive zone around the bird sanctuary and the same is pending before the Ministry.
“We direct the UPPCB, represented through State government, to visit the various projects in respect of the applications received in Form No. 1 [for environment clearance] situated within the area of 10 km from the Okhla Bird Sanctuary and in respect of which environment clearance has already been granted and report before this tribunal about the correctness of the various statements given by the project proponents in Form No. 1,” the tribunal said.
“The said particulars shall be furnished by the next date of hearing. The National Board of Wildlife, in the meantime, shall also submit its proposal before this tribunal on the next date of hearing,” it added and fixed the matter for March 26.