Vrindavan, 2019.06.09 (VT): The district administration and Municipal Corporation were caught defying NGT orders just days after the World Environment Day was observed on June 5. In outright violation of the National Green Tribunal’s ruling, the debris from demolition of illegal structures on Vihar Ghat and Keshi Ghat was being dumped on the Yamuna river bed and along the banks.
The anti-encroachment drive on Vihar and Keshi Ghats is being executed under the central government’s HRIDAY Yojana (National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Scheme).
On Thursday, the Municipal Corporation carried out encroachment removal drives on Vihar and Keshi Ghats under the supervision of City Magistrate Manoj Kumar. Many temporary shelters, tin sheds and huts that were illegally occupying the ghat were demolished during the exercise.
The debris obtained was then dumped onto the river bed and along the banks causing accumulations of piles of stones and broken bricks. This happened in the presence of SDM Sadar Krantishekhar, Deputy Collector Rajiv Kumar, Additional Municipal Officer Satyendra Kumar Tiwari, CO Sadar Ramesh Tiwari and police personnel who took part in the campaign.
According to petitioner and social/environmental activist, Mahant Madhu Mangal Sharan Das Shukla, “On May 11 2015, the NGT prohibited the dumping of waste and construction debris on the Yamuna river bank. Instead of obeying the order, the Municipal Corporation is violating it openly. We will take the matter to the NGT again with proof.”
However, after the media caught the officials red-handed, city magistrate Manoj Kumar arranged for the debris to be disposed of in a large pit near the Krishi Farm House. He even denied the allegations put forward by Mahant Shukla.