The decision to turn Pragati Maidan complex into a world-class convention centre was today challenged in the National Green Tribunal, which sought response from the central government on the issue. The plea filed in the tribunal has sought quashing of the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the India Trade Promotion Organisation for re-development of Pragati Maidan complex into a world-class convention centre. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Environment Ministry, the Delhi government, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and others on the plea claiming that the EC for the integrated exhibition- cum-convention centre was obtained by "concealing material information". The NGT was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Verhaen Khanna and others seeking inquiry against officers of the ministry and others who "completely failed in discharging their statutory duties" by granting the EC. "The EC was obtained by concealing material information and the appraisal of the project has been conducted in complete violation of the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006," the plea, filed through advocate Meera Gopal, alleged. The redevelopment plan is to develop a total of 3,26,065 sq metres of built-up area, including 1,19,445 sq metres of exhibition space, a convention centre with seating capacity of 7,000 persons with a number of different-sized meeting rooms, space for public circulation in phase-I.
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