The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi has directed the Agra Development Authority to clear the flood plain of river by ensuring removal of all encroachments by 31st March, 2020.
The order came on a plea filed by petitioner Umashankar Patwa, seeking a direction to the authority concerned to conduct demolition of encroachment which has come up by way of construction in the river flood plain zone and river bed of the Yamuna and to restore it to its original state.
As per order passed by the Principal Bench on 11th March, 2019, The Director of 'Namami Gange' with the nominees of National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee (NIH) had to carry out a joint inspection of the floodplains and submit the report within four weeks. Furthermore, the Director of Namami Gange, as well as, the Director General of NIH, Roorkee were also directed to nominate experts in the concerned subject, and file a report clearly reflecting the demarcation of the river floodplain in Agra, and the construction in it.
Namami Gange Programme' is a conservation mission, approved as 'Flagship Programme' by the Government of India, The programme was developed for the effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the Ganga river, through sewerage treatment infrastructure, river surface cleaning, industrial effluent monitoring, etc.
Pursuant to the NGT's earlier order, a Joint Inspection Team consisting of representatives from NIH, CWC, Irrigation & Water Resource Department-UP and the Agra Development Authority, was constituted by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
The report submitted by the joint inspection team, to point out the demarcation of the flood plain, showed that the area along the flood plain has changed considerably due to construction activity and some of the drains have been filled up due to human activity.
In view of the question of demarcation of flood plain having been dealt with in the report, the NGT Delhi Bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S. Rathore (Judicial Member), directed the Agra Development Authority to follow up with the execution of the report given by experts, and clear the flood plain of the Yamuna at Agra by ensuring that all encroachments are removed, no later than 31.03.2020.
The Tribunal also pointed out that the Agra Development Authority should immediately take up the matter and commence the exercise for implementation of the report given by the NMCG without any further delay, no later than 15th September, 2019.