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SC stays NGT order asking metro, freight corridor to get green nod before pressing on

17 Sep 2016

spcourt1NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed National Green Tribunal orders that had made work on the Noida-Greater Noida metro and the Mumbai-Delhi-Kolkata freight corridor conditional on getting green clearances. The court ruling clears the legal hurdles, at least for now, in way of these projects. The NGT had in orders passed in May and July ruled that these projects required clearances under the environment ministry's Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006, issued under the Environment Protection Act. The ministry insisted that these projects were not covered by the notification, but the NGT ruled otherwise. On Friday, the issue was raised by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi before a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice AM Khanwilkar. "Roads have been dug up throughout the country in most cities. By getting people to travel by the metro, the metro is actually reducing pollution," he said. Both the metro and the freight corridor corporations had challenged the NGT orders through advocate ADN Rao. The AG said these the projects figured on the list of those excluded from the notification. The NGT had passed the orders on pleas filed by activist Vikrant Tongad who had drawn its attention to the fact that work on these projects had commenced without the green nods and that these were seriously prejudicial to the environment. Some of the work would affect the Hindon river bed and plains, he argued, besides the flora and fauna in the area. The NGT had directed that these projects either get post-facto clearances or stop all work. The NGT had asked the project proponents to obtain environmental clearances within three months and asked the authorities to consider both remedial as well as precautionary measures that were required to be taken before allowing work to go ahead.

By Sanjay Bansal | Founder & CEO | Affordable Homes India

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