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Complete ridge demarcation work by June 30: NGT to Delhi govt

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to complete demarcation of forest land in the Southern Ridge area here by June 30.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore warned the officers concerned that in case the work is not completed till that date then a fine of Rs 5,000 per day would be imposed on them.
"After considering the facts and circumstances and the past orders by which time was given for completion of the work, we deem it proper to grant further time up to June 30, 2018.
"However, we also direct that in case work is not completed till that date then fine of Rs 5,000 per day thereafter shall be paid, till July 31," the bench said.
The tribunal made clear that extension of time would not be done beyond July 31 under any circumstances and in case of default appropriate order shall be passed against the concerning officer, in accordance with law which may include penal action.
"The respondents shall submit periodical report in respect of the progress. The first report shall be submitted on April 20, 2018; second report on May 21 and the final report on June 30.
"Respondents are directed to ensure that no encroachments are done in the demarcated area, hereafter. In case any encroachment is found to be made then it shall be personal responsibility of the concerning officer," the bench said.
The green panel had earlier rapped the Delhi government for its "casual" approach in demarcation of forest land in the Southern Ridge area here and directed it to complete the exercise.
It had warned that in case the order was not complied with, disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against the officials concerned and a cost of Rs 2 lakh would be paid by each respondent, particularly Revenue Department and Department of Forest.
The NGT had earlier directed the Delhi government to adhere to the time schedule and expeditiously carry out demarcation of the area falling within their limits.
It had said the city government was frustrating the orders of the green panel on one pretext or another and showing "disdainful conduct" in the matter.
The tribunal was hearing a bunch of pleas field by South Delhi resident Sonya Ghosh and others against encroachments on forest land in the Southern Ridge area and seeking their removal.

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