NGT forms committee on natural conservation zones
The National Green Tribunal has formed a committee to look into whether sub regional plans for protection of Natural Conservation Zones (NCZs) were consistent with the regional plan prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board.
The decision was taken by bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel. The bench authorised the Ministry of Environment and Forests to be the nodal agency of the committee and asked the panel to hold its meeting within one month.
Composition of the committee
The committee will comprise the secretaries of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board, National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation and the secretaries of Urban Development Departments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
• As per the tribunal's orders, all the concerned states will be required to furnish a report on the matter.
• The secretaries of Urban Development Departments of the states will be responsible for submitting the sub-regional plans.
• The matter will thereafter be finalized as far as possible within three months.
• The final report of the committee will have to be sent to the green tribunal on or before December 31 by e-mail.
• The bench posted the matter for consideration of the report on February 11, 2019.
The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) had previously submitted an affidavit before the tribunal stating that there was shrinkage in NCZs like forests, water bodies and waste lands in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
According to the NCRPB, the shrinkage of NCZ in Haryana sub region is 25.97 per cent, 15.43 per cent in NCT Delhi, 43.88 per cent in Uttar Pradesh sub region and 11.18 per cent in Rajasthan sub region.
The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, appearing for Legal Aid Committee National Green Tribunal Bar Association against the alarming rate of depletion of NCZs in NCR.
It had sought directions to check alleged diversion of the area marked as NCZ by the National Capital Region Planning Board in the regional plan.
The plea had alleged that states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan had diverted the NCZ area in violation of the original plan while preparing sub-regional plans and such diversion would adversely affect the environment.