NGT stays construction in college campus in Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary

Green tribunal says Sharda Group, which runs the Anand Engineering College, has violated conditions of environmental clearance

By Kanika Kumria
Published: Thursday 09 October 2014

Waste water from the engineering college run by Sharda group is contaminating the lake, killing aquatic life (Photo by Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava)

The National Green Tribunal has ordered a stay on any further construction work in the Anand Engineering College campus built inside the Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary. This college is a project of Sharda Group of Industries (SGI). Its construction was started in 1998, and today it is a sprawling campus that hosts more than 5,000 students, hostels, a stadium, laboratories and administrative buildings. Expansion works are still on in the campus.

This tribunal order was given on a petition filed by D K Joshi, challenging the illegal structures next to Keetham lake inside the sanctuary. Joshi was a member of the Monitoring Committee constituted by the Supreme Court in 1999 to supervise and manage drinking water projects, sewerage, drainage, solid waste management and Yamuna Action Plan within Agra. The stay order was issued on October1, on ground that various conditions of environmental clearance issued by the Uttar Pradesh state level Environment Impact Assessment Authority on August 23, 2013 have been violated by SGI.

This unauthorised construction was reported by Down To Earth in an article, Bully among birds,   which highlighted how the college campus violates wildlife norms and how the waste from the college was polluting the lake, causing death of fish, turtles and other aquatic life.

Joshi is being represented by advocate Rahul Chaudary in his petition.

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