NGT forms committee on natural conservation zones

10/08/2018

New Delhi, Aug 9: The National Green Tribunal has formed a committee to look into the question whether sub regional plans for protection of Natural Conservation Zones (NCZs) were consistent with the regional plan prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the Ministry of Environment and Forests will be the nodal agency of the committee and asked the panel to hold its meeting within one month.
The committee will comprise the secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation and secretaries of Urban Development Departments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
"Since it is stated on behalf of Haryana that its report will be submitted within one month and the said report may be taken into account. Similar reports may also be furnished by the other states. The secretaries of Urban Development Departments of the states will be responsible for submitting the sub-regional plans. The matter may thereafter be finalized as far as possible within three months," the bench said.
It said a final report of the committee might be sent to it on or before December 31 by e-mail and posted the matter for consideration of the report on February 11 next year. Earlier, in an affidavit filed before the tribunal, the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) had submitted that there was shrinkage in NCZs like forests, water bodies and waste lands in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
It has said that NCRPRB after perusing the variations shown in analysis done by the National Remote Sensing Centre immediately acted upon the observations and sent letters to participating states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and NCT Delhi and sought response for such shrinkage.
According to the NCRPB, the shrinkage of NCZ in Haryana sub region is 25.97 per cent, 15.43 per cent in NCT Delhi, 43.88 per cent in Uttar Pradesh sub region and 11.18 per cent in Rajasthan sub region.
The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, appearing for Legal Aid Committee National Green Tribunal Bar Association against the alarming rate of depletion of NCZs in NCR. It had sought directions to check alleged diversion of the area marked as NCZ by the National Capital Region Planning Board in the regional plan.
The plea had alleged that states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan had diverted the NCZ area in violation of the original plan while preparing sub-regional plans and such diversion would adversely affect the environment.

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