NGT Forms Panel To Obtain Report on ‘Encroachment’ of South Delhi Pond

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a panel to obtain a factual report on a petition alleging illegal encroachments and constructions near a pond in the Vasant Kunj area here.

According to the petition, the pond, adjacent to Kishangarh village, contributes to the waters of a larger lake in the nearby Smriti Van DDA park and the overall wetland ecosystem of the area, but authorities are not taking action despite illegal constructions.

A bench comprising Judicial Member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said a substantial question relating to the environment has arisen but before taking any action, it is appropriate to obtain a factual report.

“We constitute a joint committee comprising the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the district magistrate, South Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Wetland Authority, which shall submit a report within two months,” the bench said.

It said the DM will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

The matter has been listed for further proceedings on April 25.

According to the petition, the pond had a centuries-old stone wall and steps but illegal constructions, some of which are only a few feet away from the wall, encroached upon the steps.

The pond received water from adjoining areas through slopes and must have been strategically constructed after studying the topology and geography of the area, the petition said.

Thus, its protection is necessary for the environment and the benefit of local residents, it added.

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