Nahan: On NGT orders, panel surveys violations at NH-707 : The Tribune India

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Nahan: On NGT orders, panel surveys violations at NH-707

Nahan: On NGT orders, panel surveys violations at NH-707

Officials of the joint committee at the inspection site. TRIBUNE PHOTO

Our Correspondent

Nahan, March 14

The joint committee constituted on the orders of the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) inspected the under-construction National Highway-707. Recently, AAP leader Nathu Ram Chauhan had filed a PIL in the NGT regarding irregularities in road construction. Chauhan alleged in the PIL that the environment was being harmed, including dumping of debris in river drains and on forestland. The Deputy Commissioner of Sirmaur was appointed the coordinator of the joint committee for preliminary investigation into the allegations.

There have been allegations of rigging and corruption in construction of the NH-707, from Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district to Gumma-Fediz Pul in Shimla district from the beginning. It is also alleged that when complaints were made to the local administration and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the arbitrariness of the companies continued. After that, AAP leader Nathu Ram Chauhan filed a PIL in the NGT regarding environmental pollution and unscientific dumping. After the complaint, NGT is in action mode, and the government departments which were made parties in this matter, have been instructed to investigate the matter impartially and submit the report within the stipulated time.

A joint inspection was conducted by officials of the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, state Pollution Control Board, MoRTH and Additional District Magistrate. This joint committee inspected the NH-707 from Rajban to Kaffota. In the complaint submitted to the NGT, allegations of illegal and unscientific dumping had been made at various places during road construction, the team had inspected those places and prepared a report. The remaining part of the NH-707, Kaffota to Gumma-Fediz Pul, will be inspected on March 21. The joint committee will submit its report to the NGT after complete inspection.

Complainant Nathu Ram Chauhan said private companies involved in the construction work have done illegal and unscientific dumping at around 72 places on NH-707 and tonnes of debris has gone into the river, drains and forestland. Many drinking water and irrigation schemes had been buried under the debris, he added. Many medicinal herbs and plants had also been destroyed and there was a possibility of increased land erosion in the hilly and plain areas, Chauhan said.

Sirmaur Additional District Magistrate LR Verma said as per the directions of the NGT, NH-707 had been inspected till Kaffota by the joint committee and further inspection would be conducted from Kaffota onwards till Gumma-Fediz Pul on March 21.

#Environment #Nahan #National Green Tribunal NGT

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