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NGT restrains construction of roads in Delhi Ridge area

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today restrained construction of roads and any non-forest activity in the Rajokri forest area here.

The NGT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also restrained the use of the road in the forest area for "public vehicular traffic".

"Having heard parties, we hereby restrain any person or authority from constructing any roads or using the road in the forest area for public vehicular traffic. Furthermore, they are also restrained from carrying on any non-forest activity in the area in question," the bench, also comprising judicial member Justice P Jyothimani, said.

The NGT also impleaded the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) as a party in the matter and has asked it to file its response in two weeks time.

The tribunal had on March 6 taken suo motu cognisance of a report alleging illegal construction of roads in the Rajokri forest area and had sought the response of the Delhi government, DDA, the Delhi Police Commissioner and Ridge Management Board on the issue.

The bench today granted two more weeks to the respondents to file their response.

The tribunal's order was passed after it was informed about the report and the issue of alleged illegal encroachment in the southern ridge area through an application filed by amicus curiae Raj Panjwani, assisted by advocate Rahul Choudhary.

The application said the report had alleged that three roads cutting across the Rajokri forest in the southern ridge area have been built unauthorisedly and illegally.

The report had also alleged that several unauthorised constructions have come up inside the forest area and a lot of dumping is taking place there which would result in serious degradation of the forests, according to the application.

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First Published: Thu, March 14 2013. 19:05 IST