Demolish illegal structures on Yamuna, Hindon flood plains, says green tribunal

Passes injunction to prevent illegal structures from being built along Yamuna flood plain in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh

By Soma Basu
Published: Tuesday 21 May 2013

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered demolition of all illegal structures on riverbed and flood plains of Yamuna and Hindon in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The five-member bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, observed that the authorities, including the Uttar Pradesh’s irrigation department claim to have issued notices to the persons who have raised unauthorised  constructions on the flood plains of the Yamuna, but that these had no effect.

On March 16, 2010, chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh issued a notice to all the authorities, including the police, to ensure that no construction is raised on the flood plain zone and that constructions that have been raised be removed, saying they obstruct the river besides endangering the life of residents. The notification reserved these areas as green.

0000016771-Pipeline laid by Agra Development Authority inside the Yamuna riverbed. _ Akash Vashisht

The tribunal observed that despite the notification and specific directions issued to all the authorities, illegal construction has not stopped. On the contrary, there has been rapid mushrooming of illegal constructions on the flood plain of river Yamuna.

The tribunal gave an injunction, preventing any illegal construction,  temporary or permanent, on the flood plain zone of the Yamuna in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. It directed all state authorities to ensure that no illegal construction is raised.

The tribunal also directed the states to file plans or maps showing extent of one in 25 years flood plain zones. They would also have to state, if any  government department issued No Objection Certificate for such construction on flood plain of the Yamuna. The tribunal has sought complete details to be furnished along with the reply to be filed by respective departments/corporations and by the Ministry of Water Resources by July 10.

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