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The National Green Tribunal has directed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to submit proof of the permission taken for cutting trees in the ecologically sensitive southern ridge area after a plea alleged unauthorised construction in the area. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, which had earlier issued notices to Environment Ministry, JNU, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi government and others, directed them to file their replies within two weeks. "The JNU shall show complete compliance," the bench said while posting the matter for next hearing on April 26. The order came on the NGO CHETNA's plea against JNU, National Intelligence Grid and CRPF for constructing illegal buildings in reserve forest area without environmental clearance. However, the NGO confined its plea to illegal construction in JNU and said it would file separate petitions for other violations. The NGO contended that JNU comes under the South Central Ridge (Reserve Forest) category and any type of construction is prohibited in it. It claimed that seven buildings were erected on the fragile eco-zone on the JNU campus without taking prior permission from Ridge Management Board threatening the area's ecology. The buildings include 24 type-III flats for staff at Paschimabad, sewage treatment plant in Saraswatipuram, new hostel building near Shipra hostel, Trans-Disciplinary academic building, Yamuna hostel warden flats and dining hall. The NGO had also alleged that dumping of debris was being carried out in reserved forest areas of Vasant Kunj and Ghitorni.
The debris, spread over 100 sq metres in 2013, is now over a kilometre long, and 15 feet deep, the plea claimed.
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