NGT Order on Sports City, Noida [%new%]
Date- 14th August 2014
News Credit- Sakhi Shah
The National Green Tribunal has given the order that no work should be undertaken on the construction of the ‘Sports City’ in Noida (Sector 150) without environmental clearance from the appropriate authority.
Background of the Case
The case was filed by Mahendra Pandey, an environmental activist, to challenge the tender by the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority for the development of the Sports City in Noida, with the claim that it was not within their jurisdiction to do so.
Issues Raised by the Petition
1) Can a tender be floated without appropriate environmental clearance for the same?
It was contended by the petitioner that no tender could be floated without getting the appropriate environmental clearance for the construction of the Sports City.
2) Does this constitute a violation of the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985, under which the Noida Plan 2031 was framed?
It is contended that the use for which this particular land is going to be put is not only ‘sports’ related but rather constitutes temporary accommodation, hostels, offices, staff accommodation, restaurants, chemists, stores, and other things that normally fall within the ‘residential’ sphere. This involves a change in land use from ‘recreational green’ to residential which is not permitted under the purview of this Act.
It has been contended that the project has privileged the business lobby over the needs of the environment.
Conclusion of the Court
The court granted a partial order, saying that the appropriate environmental clearance would have to be obtained by the Project Proponent who had been successful in the tender before any work could begin on the project. The bench, consisting of Justice Swatanter Kumar, did not stay the tender itself. Therefore, they are only demanding compliance with the already existing regulatory structure.