Could this ever have been a park?
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Could this ever have been a park?

The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park in Sector 150, Noida, was declared the greenest park in Gautam Budh Nagar in January. Today it lies desolate and barren. Why? Ask ATS Pristine.

Could this ever have been a park?

The Oxford dictionary describes the word “pristine” as unspoilt and clean. It is ironic, then, that a society with that very name is the cause behind one of the worst cases of environmental negligence in Gautam Budh Nagar.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park in Sector 150, Noida, was declared the greenest park in Gautam Budh Nagar district by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in January this year, during the Pravasi Bhartiya Sammelan in Agra. But that was then. Now it stands as a decrepit reminder of the hazards of indiscriminate and irresponsible construction.

And the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of ATS Pristine.

Residents of the sector say the builder openly flouts the norms laid down by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), making no attempt to curb the dust the construction site throws up or manage the waste it produces. ATS Pristine, being built right next to the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park, dumps most of its waste in and around the park, choking it.

Noida Authority, responsible for the maintenance of the park, has turned a blind eye to this slow death.

However, it’s not just the park that is suffering. People who live near the construction site say the area has become so dusty that they often have trouble breathing. A slew of trucks and dumpers at the site are adding to the problem.

Environmentalist Vikrant Tongar told City Spidey, “Sectors 150 and 151 were proudly declared the greenest sectors of Noida. It was Noida Authority’s responsibility to ensure that they stayed that way. It should not have allotted land near the ‘greenest park’ for construction. According to Noida’s master plan, Sector 150 is a recreational area and only farmhouses and low-rise buildings can come up in it. So what was Noida Authority thinking when it gave permission to ATS Pristine to build there?”

AK Goel, a civil engineer at the Greater Noida Authority, admitted there was a lot of dust in the area. “The onus is on the builder to sprinkle water in and around the construction site to ensure the dust and pollution levels are kept in check. But if environment norms are not being followed, the NGT will surely penalise the builder.”