CUTTACK: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has refused to entertain a petition for intervention against alleged filling up of a portion of the Barabati Fort moat better known as Gadakhai by dumping debris.Mahesh Kumar Ray of Cuttack and Sujit Kumar Sahu of Angul had filed the petition seeking the Tribunal’s direction for restoration and preservation of the Gadakhai and structures linked to it.
Advocate Afraaz Suhail appeared for the petitioners when the plea was taken up by the NGT’s East Zone Bench in Kolkata recently.While dismissing the petition the bench of B Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and Saibal Dasgupta (Expert Member) said, “Considering the allegations in the petition, we are of the view that the matter relating to filling up of the moat or removal of the construction material there from is not an environmental issue and does not fall within the domain of the National Green Tribunal.”
“Rather it is a matter exclusively concerning the Archaeological Survey of India for which appropriate direction has already been issued by the Orissa High Court in 2003,” the Bench said in its October 19 order, a copy of which was available on Tuesday.
The ASI, Bhubaneswar Circle had later clarified that the debris was dumped as a temporary obstruction for setting up of a cofferdam for dewatering the moat to facilitate renovation and conservation of its inner wall on the western side. After the work is over, the debris will be removed from the moat, ASI officials said.