The Uttar Pradesh government has told the National Green Tribunal that it would ensure removal of encroachments on water bodies, including ponds and wetlands, in Ghaziabad and other parts of the state. The Yogi Adityanath-led government told a bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim that it would take all requisite steps this month to comply with its direction. The Urban Development Principal Secretary submitted before the bench that he has recently assumed charge and some more time may be given to him to ensure that there are no further lapses in the execution of the NGT order.
“The officer present also gives assurance to the tribunal that he will conduct a meeting of the concerned and ensure order of this tribunal is complied with…. “We also place on record submission on behalf of state of UP that during the month of June all steps will be taken to comply with direction of the tribunal to the extent possible,” the bench noted. The green panel also directed the petitioner in the case to file his response to the status report of the state government on the action taken against the encroachments.
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The matter is posted for hearing on July 18. The tribunal had earlier slammed the UP government over delay in reporting on encroachments of water bodies, including ponds and wetlands, in Ghaziabad and other parts of the state. Taking strong exception to the the state not complying with its order and seeking repeated adjournments, it had summoned its Principal Secretary for Urban Development to appear before it. The green panel had said it could have taken a “serious view” of the matter but to enable the state and its officers to comply with the order, it had only issued show cause notice and granted them time to execute the order.
The NGT was hearing a plea filed by journalist Sushil Raghav who had sought execution of a 2014 NGT order directing the UP government to remove the encroachments from waterbodies within six months and file a status report every month.
The plea had contended that the Chief Secretary had not filed a status report on encroachments on water bodies.