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NGT directs UPPCB to recover over Rs 3 cr penalty from Noida builder for illegal water extraction

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to recover compensation of Rs 3.28 crore from a builder in Noida for illegally extracting groundwater and discharging untreated sewage in the green belt area.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that ample powers are available for the purpose under Section 33 A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Section 31 A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, which needs to be invoked.

"The state pollution control board needs to take further action for stopping illegality and recovering the assessed compensation by using coercive measures, including blacklisting and seizing assets of the project proponent," the bench said.

The bench said, "It is also open to the state pollution control board to take assistance of any other public authority, including the concerned district magistrate or Noida Authority for enforcing the law and environmental rights of the affected parties."

It sought a further action taken report by email before March 27, the next date of hearing.

The committee, comprising officials from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Central Ground Water Authority, had told the NGT that groundwater is being extracted without obtaining a 'No Objection Certificate' from CGWA.

"As per intimation given by applicants, the builder commenced the project on January 29, 2011 and started giving possession of flats from December 2014. The builder has installed two bore wells. The provision of rainwater harvesting has been made but it is not operational," the committee had told the bench.

Besides, there is no sewage treatment plant arrangement for 560 flats with 475 families residing in the apartment, it had said.

It had also informed the bench that a 500kva diesel genset has been installed for electricity supply but a chimney for it has not been set up as per the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board.

The committee had recommended an environmental compensation of Rs 3,28,50,000 on the builder.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by residents of Antrikish Kanball in Sector77, Noida, alleging illegal extraction of groundwater, discharge of untreated sewage water in green belt and storm water drain, operation of diesel generator sets without chimney, non-operation of rainwater harvesting system and operation of residential complex without obtaining 'consent to operate' from the UPPCB by the builder.

The builder, Perfect Probuild Private Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Antrikish Group had on August 25, 2010, obtained sanction from the Noida Authority for construction of a residential complex comprising of 560 flats by the name of Antrikish Kanball 3G.

Subsequently, on October 7, 2011, the Uttar Pradesh State Impact Assessment Authority granted clearance for construction, with restriction on discharge of wastewater in drains, compliance of environment norms and reuse of treated sewage water.

The plea, filed by advocate Salik Shafique, said the builder in March 2015 started giving possession of the flats to the buyers, which includes the applicants, and by 2019 almost 450 families have started living in the society.

The builder failed to secure water connection from the Noida Authority and continued to supply water in the apartments from two illegal borewells located in the partially-constructed basement of the residential society, without obtaining permission from the Central Ground Water Authority, it alleged.

"The smoke generated from the diesel generator sets in the absence of chimneys directly enter the houses of the residents which includes children and senior citizens, and they are exposed to the obnoxious air almost on a daily basis," the plea said.

The residents from time-to-time resorted to dharnas and protests and even approached regulatory authorities but no action has been taken against the builders by the authorities, the plea alleged.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 13 2020. 16:02 IST
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