Delhi

Asaram’s ashram on Ridge again under NGT scanner

Last November, the Tribunal had directed the Delhi government, police and other authorities concerned to demolish all illegal constructions at Asaram’s ashram. —File Photo

Last November, the Tribunal had directed the Delhi government, police and other authorities concerned to demolish all illegal constructions at Asaram’s ashram. —File Photo  

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The National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed the Delhi government to respond within a week on a plea against the compliance report of a committee which had observed that there was no illegal construction at an ashram of jailed ‘godman’ Asaram Bapu in Karol Bagh here.

The NGT directed the government to respond to the objections by May 25.

Last November, the Tribunal had directed the Delhi government, police and other authorities concerned to demolish all illegal constructions at Asaram’s ashram and submit a compliance report eight weeks on a petition filed by Sanjay Kumar through advocate Gaurav Bansal.

After being directed to demolish all illegal constructions in and around its ashram in Central Ridge, Asaram Bapu’s Trust submitted a compliance report early this year before the NGT saying there has been no change in its structure since 2002.

The Trust has made the claim even as a February 2009 order of a Forest Settlement Officer says the ashram failed to fulfil the conditions imposed by the Supreme Court by carrying out additional construction.

Later in January, a committee had filed its compliance report stating that there was no substantive change in detailing of the area i.e. 4312 sq. yards of the disputed premises.

Mr Bansal said that ‘one of the important members (Independent Member) namely Sunita Narain of the court appointed committee has not signed the compliance report’.

“The compliance report is silent on the status of the violations/illegal structures which were directed to be removed in compliance of the Tribunal’s judgment,” he said.

Earlier, a committee constituted by the Tribunal had informed that the ashram in the ecologically-sensitive central ridge of the Capital had a ‘large number’ of illegal constructions.

The committee, which had commissioned a detailed survey of the premises, found that there were temporary as well as permanent structures which did not exist in the map of 1996.

The total area is indicated as 4,312 sq yard along with the approach path of 350 ft approximately. The NGT had also asked the panel to comment whether any construction was done recently.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:17:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/asarams-ashram-on-ridge-again-under-ngt-scanner/article7182931.ece

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