Gurugram, July 5
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd to pay compensation of over 150 crores for violation of green norms at its Sushant Lok Phase 1 property. The property spread across around 600 acres is a residential complex.
In 2019, the builder was asked to stop all construction/expansion activity at property. As per NGT orders the builder did not obtain environment clearance, consent to establish and even consent to operate. It was also found guilty of illegal extraction of groundwater.
A penalty has also been imposed for discharge of untreated sewage or partly treated sewage directly in a stormwater drain, encroachment on land meant for the green belt, non-compliance with Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, and non-compliance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
A penalty of around Rs 98.53 crore has been imposed for the discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage into a stormwater drain. For violation of the provision with regard to environment clearance, a fine of Rs 30 crore has been imposed. The builder has been asked to pay around Rs 4.97 crore for extraction of groundwater from 39 borewells without approval from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
A petition was filed in the NGT in this matter in 2018, and in 2019 the NGT sought a report from a joint committee including representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) and CGWA.
The tribunal’s order highlighted that case demonstrated gross dereliction of duties in the functioning of the responsible authorities or local bodies, other sanctioning authorities and statutory regulators responsible for enforcement of environmental laws.
NGT also took a stern stance on the role of authorities including town and country planning department (TCPD) in the violations. “TCPD Haryana in a mechanical manner granted licenses without ensuring whether earlier conditions of licenses were complied with by APIL-PP and for years together licenses were issued,” the NGT’s order notes.
The department has been directed to deposit environment compensation of Rs 2 crore to the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB). THe NGT has also pulled up HSPCB for not having effective regulatory or monitoring action to ensure compliance of environmental laws. The order states that if there is otherwise any order by the Supreme Court or High Court “in regard to the present matter, the same shall operate and above direction would be subject to final decision by such court.”
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