NGT seeks a report on whether the expanded structure of the Akshardham Temple fell within the floodplains of Yamuna
NEW DELHI: The NGT has ordered the Center to submit a status report on a statement submitted by the administration of the Akshardham Temple seeking compliance with the 2016 court order asking a committee to decide whether the expanded structure was framed within of the.
A bank headed by the president of NGT, Judge Adarsh Kumar Goel, ordered the Ministry of Jal Shakti to send the status report before November 25 by email.
Needless to say, the main committee is free to consider the statement on the effect of the expert committee report dated April 19, 2014, which was accepted by this court on January 13, 2015. We do not express any opinion on this aspect at this stage, in view of the previous order dated July 30, 2015 that referred the matter to the main committee, the bank said.
In 2015, the green panel annulled two office memoranda from the Ministry of Environment that addressed the issue of authorizations for major and minor projects, saying they suffered from the weakness of lack of inherent jurisdiction and authority.
Taking into account his order, the court then imposed a fine of five percent of the total cost incurred in the expansion of the temple complex, located on the river bank along National Highway 24.
The Akshardham Temple administration had approached the court against the order and said that when the construction of the temple was completed in 2005, the 2006 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification was not in effect and therefore , there were no requirements for environmental authorization.
The bank approved the order in a petition filed by environmental activist Manoj Mishra claiming that the temple administration had used one of these two memoranda to obtain a post-de facto authorization to expand the complex in a proposed urbanized area of 25,497 square meters. .
The petitioner, in his allegation through lawyer Rahul Choudhary, had said that, although the construction of the temple complex began in 2011, the State Authority for Environmental Impact Assessment authorized it for the approval of the environment only in July 2013 .
The court was listening to a statement submitted by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) seeking compliance with the NGT order of March 14, 2016 that had asked a main committee constituted by him to decide if the structure of the temple fell into alluvial plains of Yamuna.
The committee was composed of the Secretary, Water Resources, special guest Shashi Shekhar, former Secretary of Water Resources, vice president, DDA, commissioners of all corporations and others.
The BAPS argued that the validity of the construction was beyond any controversy that the area was not part of the flood plain and that an expert committee set up by the court had recommended that the construction be valid.
The NGT said it is not clear what opinion the main committee took in compliance with its order and that it can enter the subject presented by BAPS after knowing the status. PTI