The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed the Delhi government to not allow anymore dharnas to be held at Janata Mantar area and has also asked the local authorities to remove temporary structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the area.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed the Delhi government to not allow anymore dharnas to be held at Janata Mantar area and has also asked the local authorities to remove temporary structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the stretch of the road situated near Connaught Place. The order was passed by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice RS Rathore who directed the Delhi government, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Police Commissioner to immediately stop protests, assembling of people, public speeches and use of loud speakers in the area within four weeks. It also said all protesters at the site will be shifted to Ramlila Maidan.
“The respondents Government of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Police Commissioner, Delhi to immediately stop all the activities of dharna, protest, agitations, assembling of people, public speeches, using of loud speakers, etc. at Jantar Mantar road,” Rathore told PTI. The spot has been site for several massive protests including Tamil Nadu farmers’ protest, Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, Babri Masjid demolition protests and others.
The green panel has also stated that the continuation of protests was in violation of environmental law including Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. According to a report by Indian Express, the development came in the backdrop of a plea filed by a group of residents of Jantar Mantar last year. These residents stated that though the area was earmarked as ‘residential’ in the 2021 Delhi Master Plan, protesters had erected tents on the road and put up loud speakers.
Responding to the same, the Tribunal said, “The respondent (NDMC) shall shift the protesters to Ramlila Maidan, Ajmeri Gate, forthwith…. The NDMC chairman, Delhi Police chief, and Government of NCT of Delhi shall file compliance reports before the NGT within five weeks from the date of judgment.”
The panel also said that the residents of the nearby and surrounding area have a right to live peacefully and comfortably and in an atmosphere free from pollution at their residences.
The NGT also factored in the issues of pollution and cleanliness raised by the residents. “It is amply clear that the petitioners are suffering because of gross violation of laws and non-performance of duty by authorities. The environmental condition at Jantar Mantar Road — in relation to noise pollution, cleanliness and waste management — has grossly deteriorated. Besides constant dharnas, noise pollution and health problems due to unhygienic conditions generated by agitators… is unique in the case,” it said.