NGT asks Noida to issue public notice on challenge to ESZ
The National Green Tribunal on Monday directed Noida Authority to publicly announce that any property deal in its area will be subject to the final outcome of judicial proceedings on the issue of Environment Ministry’s demarcation of eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla bird sanctuary.
“Buyers, who are near possession of flats in the vicinity of the OBS, must be aware that the matter of ESZ is sub-judice before the Supreme Court. Before giving ‘completion certificate’, the Authority must go through this,” said Anand Arya, a noted birdwatcher and the petitioner in the case.
“You issue notice for the general public as many people may have indulged in property or land deals in the area. The notice should specifically state that the matter is sub-judice before the tribunal and any deals made will be subject to the outcome of the proceedings,” a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.
The Bench’s direction came on a plea filed by one Anand Arya who submitted that large-scale land and property deals were taking place in the Okhla area bordering Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
The panel posted the matter for further hearing on December 3 and asked the Noida Authority, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi and UP governments to file their reply on the plea.
The Tribunal had on October 8 issued notice to NOIDA and the Centre on Arya’s plea challenging the August 19 notification on ESZ.
The notification had declared that the ESZ in the sanctuary will be the area up to 100 m from the eastern, western and southern boundaries and up to 1.27 km from the northern boundary of the sanctuary, which extends up to DND flyover across the riverbed situated in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar district and southeast district of NCT Delhi.
The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, had stated that the Ministry had made an ‘arbitrary’ and ‘unreasonable’ demarcation which completely violated the policy laid down by Supreme Court and the National Board of Wildlife.
“The manner in which the Eco Sensitive Zones have been notified as a mere 100 metres to 1.27 km shows a blatant disregard of all the legislative, judicial and technical discourse that have taken place upon the instant matter over the years,” the plea had said.