NGT refuses to stay construction of waste recycling plant in Gurugram

The National Green Tribunal, while refusing to stay the construction of a waste recycling facility in the Basai wetland in Gurugram, has agreed to hear a plea that the plant lacks requisite approvals from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has refused to stay the ongoing construction of a waste recycling facility, in the catchment area of the Basai wetland in Gurugram, on a petition alleging that it lacked requisite approvals from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board. A bench headed by justice Raghuvendra S Rathore, noted that another bench of the tribunal had lifted the injunction after hearing the parties.

“In view of the earlier proceedings, namely, vacation of the initial injunction order dated July 22, 2017 and the fact that an application for clarification of the said order had also been considered by the Tribunal, consisting of the same bench on January 10, 2018, whereby, the injunction was vacated, we are of the considered opinion that no further order for purposes of clarification or for any other purpose, is required,” the bench said. The green panel also considered the submission of the petitioner that the matter be urgently heard and fixed it for hearing on May 30, 2018.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Haryana government to respond to a plea against the alleged dumping of waste at a ‘construction and demolition waste recycling facility’ being built in the catchment area of the Basai wetland. According to the plea filed by NGO Delhi Bird Foundation, the project proponent has the environmental clearance for the plant but it lacks requisite approvals from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, as per the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016. Advocates Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary, appearing for the NGO, had sought an immediate stay on the dumping of waste at the site, citing environmental concerns. The bench, however, had sought the reply of the state and the project proponent on the issue.

The tribunal had, in January 2018, lifted its stay on the construction of a waste treatment plant in the catchment area of the Basai wetland at Gurugram, after perusing the revenue records and noting that the land in question had not been identified as a wetland by the Haryana government. The order had come after the project proponent assured the bench that it would not carry out construction on the site, without obtaining the consent from the state pollution control board.

The project proponent had given an undertaking that it would not set up any machinery or equipment to run the construction, without an authorisation from the state pollution board.

The tribunal, in July 2017, had ordered status quo after noting its adverse impact on the water body. The green panel had earlier said the applicant has made out a prima facie case, for directing preservation of land in question till further order of this tribunal in this regard. The tribunal was earlier informed that the boundary wall of the plant, being developed by IL&FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd, was adjacent to the area known for rich bio-diversity of bird species. The petitioner NGO had sought a stay on the project, contending that the Basai wetland, though not declared as a wetland under the 2010 Wetland (Conservation & Management) Rules, was a valuable water body.

“The construction and debris plant, which is under the process of establishment, shall have an adverse impact on the water body due to various activities connected with the plant,” the plea had said. According to the Gurugram Municipal Corporation, the plant will be spread over 3.5 acres of land and process 500 tonnes of waste a day.

 

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