The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today restrained Uttam Steels and Associates (Consortium) and Shiv Nadar University from any construction or reclaiming land in the Dadri wetlands and its catchment area in Greater Noida.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Uttar Pradesh Environment Directorate, the real estate developer and the university to not carry out any construction or reclamation activity within 500 m of the periphery of the highest water level of the wetland.
"We hereby restrain respondents 3 (Directorate of Environment, UP), 6 (Uttam Steels) and 7 (Shiv Nadar) from raising any construction or reclaiming any land or in any way interfering with the wetlands as well as its catchment area. They shall not carry on all the above activities within 500 m from the periphery of highest water level in wetland," the bench said and listed it for hearing on September 24.
The NGT said that with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and UP government "shifting" to each other their responsibility regarding the area, the environment has become a victim of commercialisation.
"We are surprised to see the state of affairs prevailing in the MoEF, SIEAA and the Forest Department, State of Uttar Pradesh and its Department of Environment which seem to be shifting the burden of their responsibility to the other but net result being that environment, wildlife and wetland are the victims of commercialisation. Prima facie, this is what appears to us," the bench said.
The NGT also observed that it is a matter of common knowledge that huge construction in and around the wetland would result in unavoidable destruction of wildlife.
The tribunal's order came on the plea of two UP-based environmentalists Akash Vashishtha and Vikrant Tongad who alleged the Dadri wetlands, also called as Bil Akbarpur wildlife habitat and home to the protected black buck species, Nilgai as well as over 200 migratory and resident birds, are being destroyed due to activity of builders and others.