The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed authorities to demolish all unauthorised structures erected on the river bed and flood plains of Yamuna in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The tribunal also ordered removal of such constructions from the banks of Hindon, the 400-km-long tributary of Yamuna.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took serious note of allegations that the floodplains have been encroached with concrete and permanent structures that are bound to cause ecological havoc in the form of floods etc.

“All illegal and unauthorised structures existing in the floodplains and river beds of Yamuna and Hindon rivers in Haryana, Delhi and UP to be demolished,” it said.

The bench also sought action taken reports from ministry of environment and forest, ministry of water resources, governments of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, UP irrigation department and UP Police on the petition highlighting the massive and fast-rising concretisation on the river beds and floodplains of Yamuna and Hindon.

The tribunal also directed the authorities to file a report within four weeks on whether any government department had issued NOC for constructions in the said floodplains and river beds.

“All illegal and unauthorised constructions either temporary or permanent, i.e. constructions raised without the permission of any competent authority, being currently carried out in the floodplains and river beds of Yamuna and Hindon rivers are completely restrained from, hereinafter, covering states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi,” the bench said. The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by water conservationist Akash Vashishtha and Ghaziabad municipal councilor Rajendra Tyagi.

The petition highlights the issue of fast-paced encroachments on the highly eco-sensitive river bed and flood plains of the two important rivers, by farmhouses, colonies, stone crushers, factories and other commercial establishments. It alleged that the land mafia has been operating in connivance with the local administrations in usurping the eco-sensitive river bed and floodplains.

Courtesy: India