Poush Mela should not continue for more than 6 days, directs NGT
Kolkata: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Eastern Zone Bench on Wednesday directed that the Poush Mela in Santiniketan can't continue for more than six days.
The Bench of Justice S P Wangdi and Prof P C Mishra directed the Viswa Bharati authorities and the district administration to organise the Poush Mela for six days.
The Bench also directed to form a three member committee to monitor the pollution issues.
The Bench was hearing an application by environment activist Subhas Dutta, on pollution during the mela.
Earlier, NGT had directed Viswa Bharati to take necessary measures to prevent pollution and restrict the event to three days. The district administration was also directed to provide assistance to the Viswa Bharati.
The Poush Mela in Shantiniketan used to take place for three days officially but the fair continued for another 15 days resulting in various environmental implications.
Last year, a case was registered with some environmentalists seeking permission so that the Poush Mela cannot continue for more than three days.
The environmentalists argued that as the fair continues for 15 days unofficially, it has serious implication on the environment.
Following the case, the NGT, Eastern Bench last year directed that the fair cannot continue for more than three days.
The Bench last year also observed that Viswa Bharati had failed to comply with its directions regarding Poush Mela.
It was learnt that despite the court order, Poush Mela continued for more than three days.
The Viswa Bharati authorities told the NGT that the hawkers put up their stalls on the ground and they were not listening to Viswa Bharati's instruction.
The environmentalists moved to the NGT again this year urging it to restrict the Poush Mela within three days.
While passing judgement, the NGT, however, observed that traders' sentiments must be looked into and hence the fair could continue for six days.
The NGT also observed that the fair cannot be allowed to continue for 15 days under any circumstances.
The NGT also directed forming a three members committee which will monitor if anybody flouts the court order.
The committee will comprise former advocate general Jayanta Mitra, environmentalist Subhas Dutta and river expert Kalyan Rudra.