KOLKATA: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has barred all development works in a disputed area of the Chandaka Industrial Complex for alleged violation of environmental laws. The tribunal also directed the Collector, District Magistrate and the SP of Khurda to ensure compliance with the order.
Acting on a petition filed by green rights campaigner Subash Mohaptra, the apex green authority has asked for suspending works on the 260 acres of forest land in the area. The tribunal said, “An order should be issued prohibiting all activities in the questioned area until forest clearance is obtained.”
The petitioner had alleged that a portion of the forest land in the Chandaka area was given by the state to industries/educational units for non-forest use without clearances from authorities. The CAG report into this was also cited to buttress the allegations. The NGT found illegality and opinioned that no development work could be undertaken without its clearances. “We find that there is no denial that the land having been allotted in favour of different units/institutions for its use for non-forest purpose and is without the authority of law…no forest land of any category can be diverted for non-forest purpose without seeking clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,” the tribunal order stated.
While barring works without approval, the tribunal said, “We are, therefore, of the view that…the respondent or any of the land allottees should be directed not to take up any development work on the forest land.”
The Tribunal has, meanwhile, asked the Collector, District Magistrate and the SP of Khurda to ensure compliance with the order. The next hearing of the matter is slated for November 10.
It is alleged that DLF, KIIT and many others have grabbed forest land for non-forest pupose with at mere price which involves 10000 crore scam.
Appearing for petitioner, Advocate Sankar Prasad Pani has strongly pursed for the bar of developmental activities in the forest land in Bhubaneswar.