The National Green Tribunal has rapped Uttar Pradesh authorities over their failure to remove encroachments from forest land in the pilgrimage town of Govardhan in Mathura district and directed senior officers of various departments to appear before it to inform about the work done by them.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said the forest department has removed only four to five encroachments out of the total 33.
The green panel granted one more opportunity to the Divisional Forest Officer to implement the directions with regard to removal of encroachments in the forest land and directed him to appear before it and report about the work done.
"We fail to understand as to why the forest department requires so much time when it is an admitted position that such encroachments lie in forest area and a large number of structures are unclaimed.
"Moreover, we had given specific directions for removal of these identified structures immediately. The only option before us is to monitor the execution of the recommendations in a more stringent way i.e. senior officers of all the departments should appear before the Tribunal and report with regard to work got done by them," the bench, also comprising expert member Satyawan Singh Garbyal, said.
The tribunal also directed the SDM and Executive Officer to appear before it and apprise it about the encroachments in Nagar Panchayats.
"In case they fail to do so, we are putting them to notice that appropriate action against them shall be taken. We have been informed that work to be done by state pollution control board is going on.
"We are assured that by the next date of hearing the work for connecting the sewerage line and laying down of pipelines for effluent treatment plant would be completed. Let the Regional Officer, state pollution control board be present on the next date of hearing and submit a report. We sincerely hope that by that time the entire work would be completed," the bench said while posting the matter for next hearing on November 13.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Mathura-based Giriraj Parikrama Sanrakshan Sansthan and others seeking compliance of the NGT's August 4, 2015 directions.
The organisation had raised the issue of civic authorities discharging sewage and municipal waste into ponds and other water bodies in Govardhan.
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