CUTTACK: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday issued notices to Jajpur Collector and Divisional Forest Officer (Cuttack) on a petition seeking intervention against constructions planned under the Vyasa Sarovar Project. The NGT’s East Zone Bench issued notices on a petition filed by Dilip Kumar Samantaray, a green activist alleging that the constructions are being undertaken on forest land without the requisite environmental clearance.
“Considering the nature of the allegations made in the Original Application, we direct the respondents to the notices respectively, to file their personal affidavits within two weeks”, the bench of B.Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and Saibal Dasgupta (Expert Member) said while posting the matter to August 18. Petitioner counsel Sankar Prasad Pani appeared in virtual mode and pointed out that of the total 105.45 acre project area under Vyasanagar Municipality, 33.97 acre of forest land and more than 37 acre of wetlands are in violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Wetlands (Conservation Management) Rules, 2017.
According to the order, the project has been undertaken by the Kalinga Nagar Development Authority for the development of urban forests as part of pollution control measures. The petition pointed out that the nature of the construction which is being carried out in the project area includes a food court, administrative zone, boundary wall, toilet blocks, development of temple area, parking complex, overhead water tank, covered sit-out space, children play equipment, development of water body including ghat area, bridges, pathways, pavilions, sculptures and murals, water supply and sewage.
“The total civil work is of an area of more than 20,000 square mts, which would require environmental clearance but the project proponent has not obtained the requisite environmental clearance,” the petition also alleged.