Construction of Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway: NGT imposes Rs 45 cr penalty on NHAI : The Tribune India

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Construction of Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway: NGT imposes Rs 45 cr penalty on NHAI

Construction of Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway: NGT imposes Rs 45 cr penalty on NHAI


Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, February 14

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a penalty of Rs 45 crore on the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for filling up a pond and encroaching on two nullahs at Kiranj village in Nuh and for illegal construction and cutting of trees at Hajipur village in Gurugram, for constructing a stretch of the Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway through Haryana.

The NGT ruled that NHAI used ‘Gochar’ land in Hajipur village for the construction which was illegal. “Even the acquisition of land by NHAI per se will not result in change of the user of the land since the village community will continue to have its common rights protected with regard to the grazing of cattles and a mere change of ownership will not demolish the right of common villagers/village community,” said the NGT.

The tribunal also held NHAI “liable for paying environmental compensation for illegal cutting of 441 trees” at Hajipur village. At Kiranj village, the NGT fined NHAI for illegal cutting of trees from private farmers’ land. On the encroachment of two nullahs in the same village, the NGT Bench, headed by Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava, said, “This is a serious violation and deserved a direction for the demolition of construction raised thereon to obstruct the above nullahs/storm water drains but since it will affect the entire project and may cause damage to public revenue and public interest in other ways also, we have to balance the interest of the villagers and also the general public using the road.” On filling up of a pond in Kiranj village, the NGT ruled, “…the pond in question was clearly protected by the provisions of the Haryana Pond and Waste Water Management Authority (HPWWMA) Act 2018, and even if some part of the land of the pond was acquired by NHAI, it had no authority to raise any construction or to fill up the pond or any part thereof in any manner without the permission of the competent authority under the aforesaid Act.” While imposing the Rs 45 crore penalty, the NGT, in its judgment dated February 13, said in case NHAI failed to deposit environmental compensation, for “damaged/encroached pond, Gochar/grazing land, nullahs etc.” should be restored to their “original form, shape, size and composition by taking such steps, as are required/permitted in law”. For this, it directed the Chief Secretary, Haryana, to execute the directions. “If environmental compensation is deposited by NHAI, the same shall be appropriated for the restoration/rejuvenation of environment,” the NGT added.

Filled up pond, axed trees

The NHAI had been fined for filling up a pond and encroaching on two nullahs at Kiranj village in Nuh and for illegal construction and cutting of trees at Hajipur village

Relief to be used for restoring environment

If environmental compensation is deposited by NHAI, the same shall be appropriated for the restoration/rejuvenation of environment. — NGT

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Environment #Mumbai #National Green Tribunal NGT #Nuh


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