The National Green Tribunal has given a last opportunity to government agencies of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana to clearly identify the areas they consider as Yamuna’s floodplains. The authorities have been given four weeks to furnish information.
During a hearing on Tuesday of a case relating to construction on the Yamuna floodplains, the tribunal rebuked the agencies for not complying with its directions. On July 17, NGT had directed the authorities to clarify the law under which they have notified floodplain areas and whether construction of any kind is permitted.
“Despite the clear directions, none of the parties—the local authority, corporation, state of Uttar Pradesh, state of Haryana, Delhi Development Authority and NOIDA Authority have not filed affidavits. Let the clear affidavits be filed now by all concerned and that too by way of last opportunity,” the tribunal said. If such affidavits are not filed, the head of the department of each of these organizations shall be present in person.
NGT had issued notices to the government agencies following a petition by environmentalists alleging that land mafia, in connivance with administration officials, have encroached on the floodplains of the Yamuna and the Hindon rivers to build colonies on them.
The petition, filed by Akash Vashishtha and Rajendra Tyagi, says that the floodplains have been encroached with concrete and permanent structures that are bound to cause ecological havoc in the form of floods besides upsetting the natural hydrological cycle of the areas situated close to the two rivers.
Uttar Pradesh and Noida Authority on Tuesday submitted in the Tribunal that they have started demolition drives in Noida after identifying illegal constructions on the Yamuna floodplains.