Taking note of the local commissioner’s report that there has been improper demarcation of the floodplains of the Yamuna river, resulting in a scenario where 85% of buildings on the Yamuna floodplains are liable to be demolished, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on November 7, 2016, pulled up government departments in Agra, for the violations.
“According to the report, there appears to be malafide in measuring the distance of various real estate projects from the floodplains of river Yamuna in Agra. Contrary to claims, 85% of buildings on the Yamuna floodplains, are liable to be demolished,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson, justice Swatanter Kumar observed.
The bench directed the lawyer appearing for the UP government, to take clear instructions on whether they would like to demarcate the floodplains afresh or not. The tribunal also asked various real estate developers and other parties in the case, to file their replies on the local commissioner’s report within two weeks.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by Agra resident DK Joshi, who passed away recently. He has now been substituted by new petitioners, Umashankar Patwa and Shabi Haider Jafri, after Joshi’s lawyer Rahul Choudhary moved an application in this regard.
The plea had alleged that many buildings have been built, right in the floodplain and even in the river itself. The matter was listed for next hearing on November 22, 2016.
Earlier, the green panel had appointed registrar general Mukesh Kumar Gupta as the local commissioner, to ascertain the ‘correct position’ of floodplains and the distances of the various projects, after expressing dissatisfaction over a chart submitted by the UP government on the construction carried out by builders on the floodplains.
The tribunal had earlier issued show-cause notices to these builders, asking them why compensation under Section 15 and 17 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, should not be imposed on them and why appropriate directions should not be passed regarding their structures, which were violative of environmental laws.
It had also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the Agra Municipal Corporation, for dumping of waste on the floodplains of river Yamuna in the city, noting that the civic body had failed to perform its duty and protect the environment.