The National Green Tribunal has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the Ghaziabad District Magistrate on the alleged operation of wedding farmhouses/ banquet halls in Ghaziabad in the green belt area using depleting underground water and without any consent under the Air and the Water Act, thereby, causing various forms of pollution.
The tribunal issued notice on a petition moved by two environmental journalists, and activists Sushil Raghav and Akash Vashishtha who have been highlighting issues of grave environmental concern in Uttar Pradesh.
In their latest petition before the NGT, Raghav and Vashishtha highlighted how an ever-increasing number of baarat ghar/ wedding farm houses/ banquet hall/ party halls were operating or coming up in areas meant for green belt, even as water extraction in these areas for commercial purposes is barred by law.
They also informed the court that events were being organised in these venues without obtaining any consent as required under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, from the State Pollution Control Board.
“The banquet halls and party halls also violated the provision of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000. These baarat ghar/ wedding farm houses/ banquet hall/ party halls extract huge quantity of ground water without any NOC from the Central Ground Water Authority. It is important to mention here that most of the baarat ghar/ wedding farm houses/ banquet hall/ party halls fall within the notified area of Ghaziabad, where extraction of ground water is not permitted for commercial purpose.
“The emission level of the generator sets used in these baarat ghar/ wedding farm houses/ banquet halls/ party halls are beyond the prescribed standards for emission and are degrading the surrounding environment to a great extent,” they said, as they sought demolition/ closure of all such illegal venues.
The petitioners also sought imposition of environmental compensation to be paid by these illegally operating venues. Besides, they suggested imposition of fine to be paid by the officials who allowed such venues to come up and operate in the first place.