NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a committee to probe allegations of illegal constructions on the flood plain of the river Kosi by a private university in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed a joint committee, comprising the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and the Rampur district magistrate, to look into the matter and furnish a report within a month by e-mail.
"The applicant may furnish a complete set of papers to the UPPCB and the district magistrate and file an affidavit of service within a week," the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea by Lucknow-based journalist Shailesh Singh against illegal constructions on the flood plain of the river Kosi at Jauhar Nagar by Mohammad Ali Jauhar University and its office bearers.
Mohammad Ali Jauhar University is a private university established in 2006 by the Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, and is recognised by the University Grants Commission. Samajwadi Party party leader Azam Khan is its chancellor.
The plea, filed through advocates Preeti Singh and Sunklan Porwal, said the construction was obstructing the free passage of the river, resulting in scarcity of water and devastation of the environment.
An FIR has been registered in the matter and the illegal encroachment continues to cause damage to the river, the plea said.
Referring to media reports, the petitioner said that a case was registered against Azam Khan on the basis of an FIR filed by the Revenue Department at the Azim Nagar police station in Rampur.
The FIR reveals that Khan and his close aide allegedly 'grabbed land' from 26 farmers for the construction of the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, the plea said.
The complaint of the state Revenue Department also says that Azam Khan, who misused his position as cabinet minister in grabbing the land of poor farmers, also illegally occupied another huge chunk of land measuring 5,000 hectares which comes under the floodplain of the Kosi river and cannot be acquired, it said.
The matter is listed for next hearing on September 19.