NGT judge, who questioned MP govt’s inaction on dam site encroachment, transferred to Delhi
Bhopal, Aug 27 (IANS) Justice Sudhir Agrawal, who questioned Madhya Pradesh government’s inaction on dam site encroachment, has been transferred from the central bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the principal bench — Delhi.
As per the order issued on Saturday, Justice S. K. Singh will now be taking charge of the central bench.
The development came one week after the central bench of NGT (Madhya Pradesh) headed by Justice Sudhir Agrawal expressed strong displeasure over inaction on behalf of the state government to remove encroachment from prohibited areas around Kaliyasot and Kerwa dam site in Bhopal. The tribunal had also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the state government.
The NGT also pointed out that the entire system of the Madhya Pradesh government seems incompetent, as counsel representing the case is willing to extend the date instead of arguing properly during the hearing.
Notably, the NGT had in 2014 issued an order to remove illegal construction within the 33.3-metre periphery of the river bed. NGT had given a month’s time for compliance of order. The tribunal had also asked chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bains whether he had read the order. The tribunal further observed that “there is lack of coordination among the departments concerned in initiating action against the encroachers.”
NGT’s observation has sparked a political controversy here in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Congress leader – Govind Singh (LoP) and Rajya Sabha MP, Vivek Tankha has questioned extension of Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains.
Several multi-stories have been constructed on the bank of Kaliyasot and Kerwa dam in Bhopal, which has been questioned in the petition. The NGT’s order for demarcation of illegal constructions within 33.3 meters from Kaliasot River bed will affect around 40,000-50,000 people and nearly 30 residential colonies in Kolar satellite township.
After NGT order of August 18 (this month), Water Resources Department, Bhopal Municipal Corporation and district administration had swung into action, taking measurement of Kaliasot river bed and verifying Full Tank Level (FTL) pillars in river bed and catchment areas.