NGT Forms 7-Member Committee To Probe Alleged Environmental Violations By Tent City Project In Varanasi
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a seven-member joint committee to investigate alleged environmental violations by the Tent City Project, which is situated on the riverbed of the Ganga river, in Varanasi.
The project is alleged to be harmful to the environment and causing untreated sewage to flow directly into the river Ganga.
The Tent City Project in Varanasi on the Ganga riverbed is said to have violated 'The River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities order, 2016' which prohibits construction on the riverbed. The NGT was also told that "to set up the project, Notification dated 17.03.2020 was issued de-notifying Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary thereby lifting protection for the turtles under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972."
The bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Justice Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), and Dr Senthil Vel (Expert Member) said, “the allegations, if true, depict serious violations of environmental norms.”
The application before NGT pertains to the Tent City project in Varanasi, occupying 100 acres of the Ganga riverbed for commercial purposes.
The project is reportedly being operated by PRAVEG Limited and is being undertaken at the behest of the authorities of the State of Uttar Pradesh.
Taking note of the gravity of issue, the Tribunal has constituted a seven-member joint committee comprising representatives from NMCG, MoEF&CC, CPCB, the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttar Pradesh, the Irrigation and Water Resource Department of Uttar Pradesh, the State PCB, and the District Magistrate of Varanasi for a factual report on the allegations.
NMCG and State PCB will act as the nodal agency for coordination and compliance, as per the order. The Committee is expected to convene within one week.
The NGT has directed the Committee to examine the legality of the project, its impact on the Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary, river Ganga, and floodplain integrity, and whether it violates the mandate of the Ganga order 2016. The Committee is also expected to investigate incidental issues such as liquid and solid waste management, power supply, and its sources
Case- Tushar Goswami v.Union of India & Ors.