New Delhi [India], August 25 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal has pulled up senior officials of Meerut Municipal Corporation for not filing any report relating to issues like violation of environmental norms on account of unregulated traffic, illegal parking, encroachments, and unscientific solid waste management.
The Tribunal had earlier directed that the initiative, claimed by authorities to have been taken, be continued and to furnish a status of compliance as of December 31, 2020.
An NGT bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said: "We note with regret that even though the matter has been taken after more than a year (after repeated adjournments awaiting status report), no report has been filed by the Divisional Commissioner, Meerut or any other authority nor any of the learned Counsel for any of the authorities has instructions about the progress in the matter."
No explanation has been furnished for such apathy to the directions of this Tribunal insensitive matter and in spite of directions addressed to senior officers, the tribunal also pointed out.
"We record our disappointment about the attitude of officers of Municipal Corporation as well as for the failure of Divisional Commissioner, Meerut, who was expected to monitor the progress. We hope the officers will realise their serious failure in performing public duties and take remedial measures, lest this Tribunal is compelled to take coercive measures for the enforcement of the law," the tribunal said.
Taking note of all these issues, the NGT directed the Divisional Commissioner of Meerut to forthwith hold a meeting with the concerned officers to take cognizance of the issues like violation of environmental norms on account of unregulated traffic, illegal parking, encroachments, and unscientific solid waste management and plan remedial action.
The NGT directed the Divisional Commissioner of Meerut to forthwith hold a meeting with the concerned officers, particularly Commissioner, Nagar Nigam Ghaziabad, District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ghaziabad and Regional Officer of UP State Pollution Control Board (PCB) to take cognizance of the pending issues and to plan remedial action.
"Inter alia, data of air quality and noise levels be taken into account for further action. Status of encroachment removal, cleaning of drains, collection and transportation of garbage, removal of pressure horns and other measures may be compiled, if not so far done," the tribunal said.
"Delays in preparing plan may be made up by mid-course correction. We hope the Commissioner will take the erring officers to task for their failure in responding to this Tribunal in the last more than one year and even today, " the NGT said and asked the Divisional Commissioner, Meerut, District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, Commissioner, Nagar Nigam Ghaziabad, SSP Ghaziabad and Regional Officer of UP State PCB to remain present in person by video conferencing on the next date to apprise the Tribunal of the progress.
The court has listed the matter for October 25.
The tribunal was hearing Kaushambi Apartments Residents Welfare Association application against Divisional Commissioner Meerut Division. The applicant has sought enforcement of an order of the Tribunal on August 20, 2018, and subsequent orders for remedial action against violation of environmental norms on account of unregulated traffic, illegal parking, encroachments, and unscientific solid waste management and direction to prepare an environmental management plan.
The Tribunal had earlier directed the constitution of a Committee comprising Divisional Commissioner, Ghaziabad and representatives from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Municipal Corporation.
The NGT also noted that an overlapping issue has been raised before the Supreme Court on March 24, 2021, and the top court has also observed that the situation had not substantially changed and the problem continues.
The Supreme Court has constituted a Committee to prepare traffic management plans and incidental aspects. "We are further informed that in pursuance of the above order, a meeting was held on April 6, 2021, to prepare a traffic management plan. However, the traffic management plan is only one of the issues raised before the Tribunal and status of action on remaining issues remains unknown."
According to the applicant, there is no progress and not even any meeting has been convened on the subject and citizens are suffering on account of such apathy. (ANI)