New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Haryana government to respond to a plea against the alleged dumping of waste at a construction and demolition waste recycling facility that is being built in the catchment area of the Basai wetland at Gurgaon in Haryana. A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore issued notices to the state government and the project proponent of the under construction site and asked them to file replies before May 11. “The counsel for respondent State as well as project proponent prays for short time to file reply. They may do so by the next date of hearing,” the bench said.
According to the plea filed by NGO Delhi Bird Foundation, the project proponent has the environmental clearance for the plant but it lacks requisite approvals from the Haryana state pollution control board as per the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016. Advocates Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary, appearing for the NGO, sought an immediate stay on the dumping of waste at the site citing environmental concerns. The bench, however, sought the reply of the state and the project proponent on the issue.
The tribunal had in January lifted its stay on the construction of a waste treatment plant in the catchment area of the Basai wetland at Gurgaon in Haryana after perusing the revenue records and noting that the land in question has not been identified as a wetland by the Haryana government. The order had come after the project proponent assured the bench that it would not carry out construction on the site without obtaining the consent from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board. The project proponent had given an undertaking that it would not set up any machinery or equipment to run the construction without an authorisation from the state pollution board.
The tribunal in July last year had ordered status quo after noting its adverse impact on the water body. The green panel had earlier said the applicant has made out a prima facie case for directing preservation of land in question till further order of this tribunal in this regard. The tribunal was earlier informed that the boundary wall of the plant, being developed by IL and FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd, was adjacent to the area known for rich bio-diversity of bird species.
The petitioner NGO had sought a stay on the project contending that the Basai wetland, though not declared as a wetland under the 2010 Wetland (Conservation & Management) Rules, was a valuable water body. “The construction and debris plant which is under process of establishment shall have an adverse impact on the water body due to various activities connected with the plant,” the plea had said. The plant, according to the Gurgaon municipal corporation, will be spread over 3.5 acres of land and process 500 tonnes of waste a day.