Ganga Expressway, Maya’s dream project, hits roadblock
A division bench comprising justices Ashok Bhusan and Arun Tandon passed the order on a petition filed by a Varanasi-based social organization, Ganga Mahasabha, and the Vindhya Environmental Society, Mirzapur, which had alleged the proposed 1047-km, 8-lane access controlled highway would expose large parts of the state to many an environmental hazards.
Delivering the judgment, the division bench said, "The state government must not proceed with the eight-lane highway project unless and until it obtains a due clearance from the state-level environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA)" in accordance with law. The court quashed a clearance certificate of the SEIAA dated 23.08. 2007, produced by the state government, saying the same had not been obtained "in accordance with the law". The expressway is slated to provide high-speed direct connectivity from Ballia on the eastern-most fringes of the state to Greater Noida on the west.
Though the order does not stay the project, per se, the fact that work on it would be halted until a fresh NOC is obtained from the environmental ministry, will definitely act as a dampener for the BSP government, which is already reeling under the impact of the recently held Lok Sabha elections and thereafter the blow of the Supreme