The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) 2015 directive and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to constitute a shrine board for three temples in the pilgrimage town of Govardhan in Mathura district.
The apex court also stayed another recent verdict of the NGT asking AK Awasthi, additional chief secretary of the state, to appear before it for non-compliance of its 2015 order, which issued directions on several issues including setting up of the shrine board.
The order by a bench comprising, Justices SA Nazeer and R Subhash Reddy came as it heard the Uttar Pradesh government's plea against the tribunal order.
Appearing for state government, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand said that the NGT's direction needed to be stayed.
The top court on July 29 had agreed to hear the government's plea against the NGT's July 23 order seeking the personal appearance of the senior official over delay in constitution of a shrine board for the three temples at Govardhan.
The tribunal on August 4, 2015 had issued directions on several issues including setting up of the shrine board.
Earlier , the Supreme Court had directed the state government to inform it about the reasons for the delay in constitution of a shrine board for three temples at Govardhan.
Meanwhile, NGT had asked the Additional Chief Secretary to file an affidavit and give details with respect to the steps taken so far for the constitution of a shrine board for temples Jatipura, Dhanghati and Mansi Ganga.
The shrine board would solve many problems like proper supervision and management of the temple, including hygiene, and prevent pollution of the environment, cleaning of the area, among others, it said.
The tribunal had earlier rapped state authorities over their failure to remove encroachments from forest land in Govardhan, noting that the Forest Department has removed only four to five encroachments out of the total 33.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Mathura-based Giriraj Parikrama Sanrakshan Sansthan and others seeking compliance of the NGT's August 4, 2015 directions.
The organisation had raised the issue of civic authorities discharging sewage and municipal waste into ponds and other water bodies in Govardhan.
(With PTI Inputs)