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NGT notice to Centre, U.P. on encroachments in Arthala lake

Rampant dumping of waste and encroachments on Arthala Lake located close to Hindon River in Ghaziabad on Thursday came under the lens of the National Green Tribunal on Thursday which sought response from the Centre and the U.P. government on the issue.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Akhilesh Yadav government, Ghaziabad Development Authority and others while seeking their reply by October 25.

The order came while hearing a plea by NGO SPEnBIO seeking removal of all illegal constructions and encroachments on Arthala Lake in Ghaziabad and restoration of the lake to its natural form.

The petition has alleged that a distillery and hospital were discharging untreated effluents in Arthala lake.

“The encroachments, illegal constructions and unauthorised occupation on Arthala Lake are resulting in environmental degradation and causing hazard to public health.

“Dumping of solid waste and biomedical waste in Arthala Lake and industrial effluents discharged from Mohan Meakin Ltd was causing groundwater contamination, further decimating the very lake which has shrunk to almost half of its original size,” the plea submitted.

The NGO has contended that residents of the area have lodged several complaints about encroachments on the Arthala Lake with the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam, District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police but no action has been taken by any of these agencies against the violators.

“Instead of taking action against encroachers, Ghaziabad Development Authority is illegally constructing a underpass on Khasra no 1446 of the lake and more than 10 pillars have benn erected on the elevated road of 18 km without environment clearance from the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority on the land of lake, violating Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 and Section 132 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act 1950,” it said. - PTI

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