Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding felling of trees and filling up of water bodies in the course of construction of Meerut-Prayagraj Highway, 05/01/2022
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Prabhat Srivastava Vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Others dated 05/01/2022.
The application seeks enforcement of NGT order, March 25, 2021 requiring the SEIAA, Uttar Pradesh and District Magistrates, Prayagraj and Pratapgarh to look into the grievance of illegal felling of trees and filling up of water bodies in the course of construction of Meerut-Prayagraj Highway and take remedial action.
An action taken report was filed by the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Revenue, Uttar Pradesh mentioning the status of ponds and water bodies and cutting of trees in the course of the project of Ganga Expressway in 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh.The report informed the court that there are 173 ponds and waterbodies which are falling in the alignment of the Expressway - of which the total area is 72.87 hectare, the area which needs to be acquired as it is coming in the Right of Way is 39.40 hectare. The number of trees and plants falling in the way of the Expressway is 195193. Further, That the concerned officers of the Departments along with the District Magistrates were directed that the provisions on the subject regarding compensatory works related to ponds/ water bodies and trees being affected by the project should be ensured and no illegal felling of trees or destruction of pond/ water bodies should take place. The project is yet to obtain forest clearance.
In view of the above, the NGT directed that the concerned authorities must ensure compliance of environmental norms in the execution of the project which would be monitored at appropriate level of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) in accordance with environmental management plan (EMP).