The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to inform it whether any ponds, water bodies, and trees are being illegally destroyed in the course of construction of the Ganga Expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, UP in coordination with the Irrigation and Forest Departments of UP and the Central Pollution Control Board to ascertain whether any ponds/water bodies and trees are being illegally destroyed in construction of expressway and if so whether remedial action is taken.
"If not, the remedial action may be ensured. Action need not be limited to Pratapgarh and Prayagraj district but entire area. A meeting for the purpose may be held within 15 days. An action taken report may be filed by Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue before the next date by e-mail," the bench said in its August 6 order.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by UP resident Prabhat Srivastava seeking enforcement of NGT order dated March 25, 2021 requiring the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), UP and District Magistrates, Prayagraj and Pratapgarh to look into the grievance of illegal felling of trees and filling up of water bodies in the course of construction of Meerut- Prayagraj Highway and take remedial action.
In the Execution application, it is stated that the order is not being complied with despite of application filed with the District Magistrates, Prayagraj and Pratapgarh.
For Omni-directional development of Uttar Pradesh, the construction of a fully access-controlled Ganga Expressway is proposed starting from NH 334, in district Meerut and ending in district Prayagraj.
Cities that will benefit from Ganga Expressways
Districts including Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahar, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rai Bareli, Pratapgarh, and Prayagraj will benefit from the construction of this expressway.
The expressway will be of 6 lanes (expandable up to 8 lanes) and all the structures will be constructed of 8 lane width.
The width of ROW (Right of Way) of the expressway is proposed as 120M, service road of 3.75 M width will be constructed at one side of the expressway in the staggered form so that residents of nearby villages of the project area may get smooth transportation facility.
(With inputs from PTI)