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Activists move NGT to save Aravalli in Faridabad, Gurgaon

Press Trust of India  |  Faridabad 

Environmental activists have approached National Green Tribunal (NGT) with a plea for saving the Aravalli range in Faridabad and Gurgaon.

A petition in this regard was filed by environmental activists who have alleged "severe damage" of the Aravalli forests, particularly along the Gurgaon-Faridabad and Gurgaon -Delhi road, along with groundwater table destruction and poisoning at the Bandhwari sewage treatment plant.

The petition says it wants to raise substantial issues related to the environment which affects the community at large. It also charged that far-reaching, irreversible destruction of fragile ecosystems has been triggered due to the failure of the agencies concerned.

The petition alleges that various laws -- Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules (2000), Plastic Waste (Management & Handling) Rules (2011), Bio-Medical Waste Handling Rules (1998), Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act (1974), and Forest Act (2006) -- have been violated by the government agencies which were entrusted to uphold them.

It also charged that the Gurgaon and Faridabad municipal corporations are disposing of waste in the open in an ecologically-fragile, forested area of the Aravalli, which is leading to pollution of the groundwater and the forest area.

That is also posing a serious health and life hazard to wildlife and was sure to adversely impact public health as well, the petitioners said.

The authorities concerned, they further claimed, are also in violation of the Supreme Court, which has directed that such land and the entire Aravalli must remain protected.

Well-known environmentalist Vivek Kamboj, as primary applicant, and naturalist Amit Chaudhary, as co-applicant, have petitioned the NGT to restrain respondents against dumping any waste in the areas.

The petitioners also sought directions to the respondents to remove the waste and take appropriate steps to protect the ecology of the areas in question.

They claimed that repeated requests with local authorities to observe the laws and to exercise good sense in waste disposal by devising non-polluting, sustainable means have gone unheeded.

Meanwhile, Jitender Bhadana, a member of NGO, Save Aravali, said that dumping of garbage and setting up of Bandhwari Sewage Treatment Plant needs to be stopped immediately. However, he said that instead of that happening, another such plant is proposed in the area.

First Published: Wed, September 23 2015. 01:13 IST