DELHI: In a joint effort involving Noida Authority and Noida Police, a survey was conducted to identify realty projects being developed within a 10 kilometer radius of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. The team found that around 40 developers were carrying on construction without any environmental clearance. The National Green Tribunal, in its August 14 order, had ordered for such surveys.
The counsel for the petitioner reached Noida Authority and examined files of all the developers in sectors around the sanctuary. “The authority has given some documents related to the environmental clearance of several developers but we have no faith in the authority,” said the petitioner.
A physical inspection was conducted by a joint team of the Noida Authority and the petitioner’s counsel. “We could not cover all sites on Saturday, but initial reports suggest nearly 40 developers are carrying out construction. The role of Noida Authority top brass and enforcement agencies are also under the scanner since without their go ahead, such vital green norms can not be violated. We will raise this issue on August 27â€”the next hearing in the NGT,” he said.
Gautam Buddh Nagar forest department said the realty projects of more than 50 developers are falling within 10 km radius. Environment and forest ministry (MoEF) had on March 15, 2011 directed the states to declare eco-sensitive zones around national parks, wildlife and bird sanctuaries but many states including UP did nothing. State wildlife department formed a nine-member team, headed by Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate, but it in vain. The callous attitude of authorities has put the realty projects in a lurch.
While hearing a plea on the sanctuary, the NGT asked the government, UP government, Noida Authority and other respondents to submit their replies within two weeks. Notices were also issued to the UP chief secretary and Noida Authority chairman, Rama Raman.