New Delhi /Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The National Green Tribunal has formed a committee and directed it to take action against encroachment on government land and discharge of untreated sewage in a drain at a village in Bhopal.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a committee of officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, Secretary, Urban Development, MP and Member Secretary, MP State PCB.
The green panel asked the committee to remedy the illegality by taking action against law violators by way of prosecution and recovery of compensation and restoring the flow of the drain, preventing discharge of sewage therein.
"Needless to say, in doing so, prescribed procedure be followed. At the same time, since two years have gone in the process, further action may be taken on day to day basis.
The CPCB and Member Secretary, State PCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. We expect the higher authorities of the State to take suitable action against the officers who have colluded in illegal arrangement and prevented enforcement of law. An action taken report may be filed before the next date by e-mail," the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Bhopal Hardesh Kirar alleging violation of environmental norms by M/s Raj Homes Colony by raising constructions on encroached government land, discharging untreated sewage at Kauluva village, Bhopal and diverting the course of the said drain.
The NGT also took note of a report which referred to an agreement between the applicant and M/s Raj Homes, Bhopal to the effect that the applicant would get some land as settlement to withdraw the complaint.
The tribunal also said it is a matter of surprise and regret that state authorities should be party to an illegal arrangement of environmental law not being enforced and the applicant being allowed some benefit for not pursuing this application.
The green panel said such illegal arrangement to defeat law cannot be allowed.
The State is bound by the doctrine of public trust to protect the drain against pollution as well as diversion, the NGT said.
"Not only authorities have failed to do their statutory duty under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, they have acted against law by encouraging an illegal agreement under which the Tribunal may not proceed with the matter further and the illegality may be condoned and perpetuated," the NGT said.
The state pollution control board in its report had said that a public drain is passing from two sides of complainant's house which has no boundary wall.
"The complainant filled the nala (drain) stretch at back side of his house up to boundary wall of Raj Home Pvt. Ltd. Now complainant has encroached the land of old nala path by filling it intermittently and said that he is the occupier of this encroached nala land," the report had said.
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