The National Green Tribunal has directed remedial action while hearing a plea that claimed “unscientific dumping of waste” in the Jakhan river, a tributary of the Ganga, during the construction of a 12-kilometre road spanning two Uttarakhand districts.
According to the petition, the road was constructed from Itharna to Kukhai in the districts of Tehri Garhwal and Dehradun, respectively, and the dumping of waste resulted in the formation of a temporary lake near the Shambhuwala village.
A bench of Chairperson Justice AK Goel noted that the tribunal, in its order in January, had sought a factual report from a joint committee comprising the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, Divisional Forest Officer (Dehradun) and the District Magistrate (Dehradun).
The bench, also comprising Judicial Member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said according to the committee’s report dated March 18, it was acknowledged that there were violations and that a lake was formed because of dumping waste.
“In the light of violations remedial action needs to be taken and compliance of conditions for diversion of forest land and other environmental norms needs to be ensured,” the bench said in a recent order.
It further said unauthorised muck dumping sites should be immediately closed, besides not permitting any such sites in the future and that plantation had to be undertaken on the sites.
During the proceedings, the bench noted the panel’s report, according to which 27 trees were damaged by muck dumping for which compensation of Rs 50,000 was recovered.
The report also said that four unauthorised dumping zones were set up, resulting in damage to the trees, the bench noted.
It said there was a violation of the conditions permitting the diversion of forest land for the road’s construction.
“… cutting of trees could not be more than those permitted and muck dumping plan was to be properly executed and no muck dumping was allowed beyond the specified muck dumping sites… the said conditions have been violated,” the tribunal said noting the report.