The National Green Tribunal has sought a response from the Noida and Delhi Metro Rail Corporations and the Uttar Pradesh government after a petition challenged the construction of a metro line from Noida to Greater Noida. The petition said the project lacked environmental clearance despite its huge land and water needs and the fact that its alignment would pass through the Hindon river.
The NGT has also sought replies from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Noida and Greater Noida authorities.
The Tribunal was hearing a petition filed by environmental activist Vikrant Tongad, which raised the issue of the construction of a metro line from Noida to Greater Noida, which involves an area of over 1,50,000 square meter..
Mr. Tongad said the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) was constructing the metro line, which had a total land requirement of 284762.01 sq.m and a depot. But this, he said, contradicted NGT orders that say projects covering an area over 1,50,000 sq metre require an environmental clearance.
“If the construction is done without proper assessment and necessary clearances required under EIA Notification, 2006, it will have far reaching impact on the environment,” he said.
Drawing on from the a project report prepared by the DMRC, the alignment of the metro from Noida to Greater Noida shows that it will pass through the Hindon river with piers to be constructed on the river bed or flood plains.
“During the construction of the project, the total water requirement is about 1,40,00,000 litres, which would be met by digging bore wells within the vicinity of the project. The extraction of groundwater will have further impact the depleting groundwater level of Noida and Greater Noida,” the petition said, while adding that Noida and parts of Greater Noida are already over-exploited for ground water.
The petitioner said that as per the report, 580 trees with a girth of over 30 cm and 478 shrubs would be affected by the project.
Besides, the NMRC has not obtained a no-objection certificate from the State Pollution Control Board as required under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.