Non-demarcation of Hindon, Yamuna floodplain zones: NGT orders DMs to make personal appearance

The National Green Tribunal has directed the district magistrates of Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh to appear before it on January 29 for not demarcating floodplain zones of the Yamuna and the Hindon rivers.

The tribunal was hearing a petition regarding unauthorised constructions over the rivers’ floodplain zones in the Lakhnawali village of Greater Noida in Gautam Buddha Nagar.

A bench of Judicial Member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said the district magistrates of Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad were earlier directed to submit demarcation reports regarding both the rivers’ flow in their respective districts.

In November, the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government submitted that the demarcation exercise would be “positively completed” within two months and the tribunal agreed, the bench noted.

In an order passed last week, the tribunal said a status report dated January 9 was filed by the Gautam Buddha Nagar district magistrate, stating that the National Institute of Hydrology – Roorkee was contacted to determine the rivers’ submergence area.

According to the report, the institute informed that studies for the Yamuna and the Hindon rivers would require six and nine months, respectively, it noted.

“We find that for demarcation of the floodplain zone under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016, the responsibility lies at the district level with the district magistrate, who is in charge of the District Ganga Committee,” the tribunal said.

It said while the Ghaziabad district magistrate did not file a report, the Gautam Buddha Nagar district magistrate made a “totally unjust request.”

“In these circumstances, we direct the district magistrates of Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad, both, to appear in person before the tribunal on the next date of hearing (on January 29),” the tribunal said.

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