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Issue public notice on challenge to Okhla ESZ: NGT to NOIDA

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The National Green Tribunal today directed NOIDA authority to issue a notice that any property deal in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla bird sanctuary would be subject to the final outcome of judicial proceedings before it.

"We direct the Noida Authority to ensure that public is well informed of pendency of the present application and that all acts done by department and authority will be subject to the order that may be passed finally in this case," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The bench's direction came on a plea filed by Anand Arya who submitted that large-scale land and property deals were taking place in the Okhla area bordering Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

The panel posted the matter for further hearing on December 7 and asked the NOIDA authority, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments to file their reply on the plea.

The tribunal had on October 8 issued notice to NOIDA authority and the Centre on Arya's plea challenging the August 19 notification on ESZ.

The notification had declared that the ESZ in the sanctuary will be the area up to 100 m from the eastern, western and southern boundaries and up to 1.27 km from the northern boundary of the sanctuary, which extends up to DND flyover across the riverbed situated in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar district and southeast district of NCT Delhi.

The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, had stated that the Ministry had made an 'arbitrary' and 'unreasonable' demarcation which completely violated the policy laid down by Supreme Court and the National Board of Wildlife.

"The manner in which the ESZs have been notified as a mere 100 mts to 1.27 km shows a blatant disregard of all the legislative, judicial and technical discourse that have taken place upon the instant matter over the years," it had said.

Arya had contended that eco-sensitive zones are aimed at strengthening buffer zone around protected areas and to check negative impact of industrialisation. However, the demarcation has frustrated the entire purpose of declaration of eco- sensitive zones, he had claimed.

First Published: Fri, December 04 2015. 19:42 IST