New Delhi: In a major intervention, ahead of the monsoon, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a joint committee, to submit an action-taken report on the lining, covering and concretization of storm water (SW) drains in Navyug Market, Ghaziabad, within two months.
“We consider it appropriate to require a joint Committee of CPCB, NCR Planning Board, State PCB, District Magistrate and Municipal Corporation, Ghaziabad to furnish a factual and action-taken report in the matter within two months,” said NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel in a recent order.
The Navyug Market is one of the biggest commercial areas in Ghaziabad that has been witnessing heavy waterlogging/urban flooding for the last several years.
The petition raised that the covering of storm water drains and its 12 mt buffer zone was in violation of Section 24 of the Water Act as well as other orders passed by the tribunal.
The SW drain is a cardinal feature of any urban planning. If covered/concretized, it is bound to cause water logging/urban flooding, prevent natural groundwater recharge, eliminate biodiversity, and aggravate the sewage/effluent pollution therein by obstructing its flow and maintenance.
Akash Vashishtha, counsel for the Petitioner, Manoj Bansal, submitted that the tribunal had very recently held that covering/concretization of the SW drain obstructed its flow and was against the statutory mandate of Section 24 of the Water Act.
“The Hazi Arif order holds that the covering/concretization of the storm water drain was not environmentally permissible, with or without the permission of Nagar Nigam. Very strangely, here is the Nagar Nigam itself that is covering and concretizing the drain. Work is being carried out at a fast pace, round the clock,” Vashishtha argued.
The Order holds significance as similar attempts and practices are being made to cover SW drains in other parts of NCR and other cities and towns.