The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed an environmental compensation charge of Rs 10 crores on Ansal Buildwell Ltd and its sister concern Aadharshila Towers Private Ltd and Rigoss Estate Networks Private Ltd and directed them to deposit the amount with the Central Pollution Control Board within a month. A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that consent to establish and operate, had not been obtained by the builders in Sushant Lok 2 and 3, as required under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
“Completion certificate has not been granted till date, as the green belt has not been developed as per norms. The rainwater harvesting system is not maintained. There is no ground water recharge as required. There is no effective solid waste management,” the bench noted. The CPCB will be entitled to charge interest at the rate of 12 per cent, for any delay and to recover the amount from them by adopting appropriate coercive measures as per the law, the tribunal said. It also held that since neither environmental clearance nor consent to establish and operate had been taken under the Water Act, the builders would have to furnish a performance guarantee of Rs 5 crores, to the satisfaction of the CPCB within a month, undertaking to comply with the statutory norms within three months.
The tribunal further said it was surprised that in spite of the report submitted about five months ago showing violation of law, no action has been taken by the statutory authorities, particularly the Haryana State Pollution Control Board. “Let the Haryana State PCB now take appropriate preventive and remedial action, including prosecution, recovery of damages and compliance of requirement of proper waste management, installation of rainwater harvesting system, ground water recharge system, stopping of illegally operating DG sets and closing illegally operating swimming pools, in accordance with the applicable statutory scheme. The Haryana State Pollution Control Board may also coordinate with concerned authorities like the CGWA, Town and Country Planning and Regional office of the Environment Ministry (MoEF). An action taken report may be furnished within three months, by the State Pollution Control Board,” the tribunal said.
The direction came on a plea filed by Rajendra Kumar Goel, Bala Yadav and others, who are residents of Sushant Lok 3 and 2 in Gurugram, alleging that the builders have encroached on the green belt, the open area meant for park, roads, etc., with the connivance of the authorities. “They developed huge housing/residential township projects on 200 acres of land, without obtaining environmental clearance. The area has already been sold, except for 30 per cent, which is of the value of more than Rs 1,000 crores. 45 per cent of the area is required to be left for parks, green belts, etc., which has not been left. Illegal activities have resulted in air pollution. There is no proper garbage disposal system. Sewage is being discharged into a drain, which is connected to river Yamuna,” the plea alleged.