A bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), headed by chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar, on April 21, 2017, directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), to inspect the floodplains near Okhla and submit a comprehensive report in this regard before April 26, 2017.
“It is brought to our notice that massive, unauthorised and illegal constructions are going on the Yamuna floodplains. Let the counsel for the DDA verify and report in this regard and if there are such constructions, it should be stopped forthwith,” the bench said.
The directions came after the counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, brought to the notice of the tribunal that rampant unchecked construction on the Yamuna floodplains near Okhla, has led to massive dumping of construction debris on the riverbed.
He said that various studies show that the Yamuna floodplains have narrowed down drastically over the last three decades. DDA counsel Kush Sharma said the lands on the riverbed belong to three agencies – DDA, Delhi irrigation department and UP irrigation department.
The tribunal was hearing a plea, alleging indiscriminate burning of municipal solid waste in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), despite a ban being in force. The lawyer, appearing for Vardhaman Kaushik who has filed a petition on deteriorating air quality in Delhi and NCR, had submitted several photographs showing burning of waste and grass at various places. He had said that despite various orders being passed by the NGT and undertakings given by the authorities concerned, there was indiscriminate dumping and burning of municipal solid waste in various parks. Imposing a complete ban on burning of waste in the open, including garbage, leaves, plastic and crop residues, the NGT had earlier said that violators will be fined Rs 5,000.