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NGT directs Uttarakhand to finish restoration work after disaster

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No activity must be carried out in Eco—Sensitive Zone from Gomukh to Uttarkashi without the green Tribunal’s nod

The National Green Tribunal has ticked off the Uttarakhand government for moving at a snail’s pace in completing restoration work following the 2013 disaster and directed it to finish the process by March 31.

The green panel said the state government should not waste any more time and start restoration and rehabilitation work “at the earliest” before the onset of monsoon.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has also directed the state government and the monitoring committee, constituted by it, to finalise the zonal master plan and identify Eco—Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the 100 km stretch from Gomukh to Uttarkashi without delay. The stretch was notified as ESZ by an Environment Ministry notification of December 18, 2012.

“The State would strictly abide by its undertaking before the Tribunal that no activity of any kind would be carried on in the proposed eco—sensitive area till further order of the Tribunal,” the bench said.

It also ordered the state government to file a complete and comprehensive affidavit of compliance by the last week of February.

“The State would strictly abide by its undertaking before the Tribunal that no activity of any kind would be carried on in the proposed eco—sensitive area till further order of the Tribunal. All these orders are subject to judgment of the NGT which shall take precedent further any Notification issued by the State in the case of Segment—B, Phase—I (Haridwar to Kanpur) of Ganga dated December 10, 2015,” it said.

On the last date of hearing, the green panel had summoned Uttarakhand’s Additional Chief Secretary and an officer from Environment Ministry and issued notice to show cause as to why exemplary costs for non—implementation of the orders be not imposed on them.

The NGT was hearing a plea by lawyers’ body Legal Aid Committee which had sought directions to the MoEF to place on record the cumulative impact assessment for hydro-electric projects on the Himalayan rivers, particularly in Uttarakhand.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 8:38:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ngt-directs-uttarakhand-government-to-finish-restoration-work-after-disaster/article8188607.ece

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