NGT smells a rat in Ansals' project, calls for probe into builder-babu nexus

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NGT smells a rat in Ansals' project, calls for probe into builder-babu nexus

The green court also lashed out at the promoter Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd (APIL).

NGT smells a rat in Ansals' project, calls for probe into builder-babu nexus

Gurugram: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday asked the Haryana state government to probe into the collusion by the concerned officials of the state pollution control board, town and country planning department and other state authorities with the developer of Sushant Lok-1.

The project was built illegally without any environmental clearance and without any consent under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

The green court also lashed out at the promoter Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd (APIL) over the non-payment of assessed compensation of Rs 16.729 crore for discharge of untreated sewage water and the compensation for illegal extraction of ground water required to be paid at the rate of Rs 40,44,000 per annum.

In its order, the NGT observed that the project flouted several norms such as not providing rain water harvesting system, extracting ground water illegally, discharging sewage in storm water drain and operating DG sets without any safeguards.

These findings were reported in November, 2018 by CPCB after site inspection on the order of the tribunal. There are about 6,000 families living in Sushant Lok-1 which was developed by the APIL and it is spread over 600 acres.
The directions came after the petition was filed in NGT last year by Parveen Kakkar, one of the residents of colony.

The NGT has expressed astonishment over the failure of town and country planning department and state pollution control board to put check on such illegality. 

“It is a matter of great surprise how the town and country planning department, Haryana, granted license or a part completion certificate, ignoring serious violations. The state PCB did not perform its duties under the provision of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. ” said the NGT in its order.

In its order, the NGT stated, “We require the Chief Secretary, Haryana to suggest the mechanism for enforcement of Rule of Law and also to prevent such illegalities in the State. The Chief Secretary may explore action against the collusion by the concerned officers of the State PCB, the Town and Country Planning Department or other State authorities for their failures mentioned above including the officers who agreed for insignificant compensation of Rs 1 lakh by way of plea bargaining in spite of conviction for serious offence. In this regard, action of black listing, attaching available assets of the defaulting builder may also be considered, apart from other coercive measures.”

The NGT also directed the Chief Secretary to explore whether the matter needs to be entrusted to CBI for investigating the possible involvement of concerned officials and the builder.

The court also directed the state government to work out a mechanism for mitigation measures to offset the damages already caused to the environment and for taking precautionary measures for anticipated future damages. The NGT has asked the state government to submit a report within one month. The next hearing is scheduled on April 17.