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DDA told to pay ₹50 lakh for failing to curb pollution

Vice-Chairman to be summoned in case of non-compliance, says green panel

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to deposit ₹50 lakh as performance guarantee over the urban body’s failure to curb pollution on the Yamuna floodplains.

Directing the DDA to deposit the amount within two weeks, a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that the DDA Vice-Chairman will be summoned in case of non-compliance of orders.

The directions came after the green panel took into consideration a supplementary progress report filed by a NGT-appointed monitoring committee that comprises former Delhi Chief Secretary Shailaja Chandra and former NGT expert member B.S. Sajwan.

Observing that the efforts of the tribunal and the monitoring committee will remain futile in case of non-compliance by the various authorities, the Bench said, “No regulatory authority can remain a mute spectator and must play a proactive role in exercising their powers to sternly prevent such pollution. Any failure has to be dealt with strongly.”

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the DDA informed the tribunal that as a part of the Yamuna rejuvenation project, the DDA has notified 120 hectares of the Yamuna floodplain located downstream of the DND flyover.

In its report, the monitoring committee noted, “The 120-hectare floodplain, after restoration will store flood water, recharge flood water, buffer ambient temperature and serve as an important habitat for native fish and avian fauna.”

The DDA also informed the Bench that it was in the process of removing encroachments from the floodplains on a regular basis.

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