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Bengal govt., experts spar over NGT order

Migratory birds seen perched on the branch of a tree at Rabindra Sarobar in Kolkata in 2019.   | Photo Credit: PT

The West Bengal government and some environmentalists from Kolkata are all set for a showdown in the Supreme Court over allowing one of the biggest water bodies in the heart of the city to be used for Chhath Puja celebrations.

The development comes after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) refused to entertain a review petition of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Agency (KMDA) to allow Rabindra Sarobar, a park and water body in south Kolkata, for Chhath Puja. KMDA, an agency under the State’s Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department, is the custodian of the Rabindra Sarobar.

“We wanted the NGT to allow the park for one day, but unfortunately, the NGT did not allow us. We will approach the Supreme Court,” said Firhad Hakim, the State’s Urban Development Minister.

However, environmentalist Subhas Dutta, who had taken the issue to the NGT, said that the State government will face a defeat in the Supreme Court as it did before the NGT. “Instead of adhering to the NGT’s order, the State government is making attempts to violate it,” said Mr. Dutta.

In a 2017 order, the NGT had strictly prohibited “performance of any Puja, community picnic or organisation of other social events in and around Rabindra Sarobar”.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 4:55:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bengal-govt-experts-spar-over-ngt-order/article32643976.ece

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