New Delhi/Kolkata, Sep 26 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal's Eastern Bench has issued notice to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDC), among others, in connection with improper manner of earth/mountain cutting and dumping of stones/boulders and muck into a river in eastern Arunachal Pradesh.
Petitioner Rakhini Mipi, an environmental activist from Anini in Upper Dibang Valley, had approached the NGT's Eastern Bench in connection with the manner in which the road widening of the National Highway connecting Roing in Lower Dibang Valley and Anini was being carried out.
The NHAI is working to connect Roing with Anini in two sections, from Roing to Hunli, and Hunli to Anini. The petitioner alleged that it, while executing the construction work from Roing to Anini - a 200 km stretch, "had dumped stones and muck out of nominated dumping area".
"While widening the road from Roing to Anini, the NHAI, the NHIDC, and the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change are dumping its waste and muck on forest land and river in Anini district, contrary to the environmental norms and in violation of EC conditions and Construction and Demolition Waste management Rules, 2016," the petitioner had alleged.
Mipi had submitted a number of photographs and videos along with his petition that showed the widespread damage to the mountain face/s due to haphazard cutting and the large scale dumping of muck and stones into the river. The applicant had also alleged felling of trees in large numbers in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and therefore, made the DFO and Conservator of Forests of Arunachal Pradesh respondents to the petition, as well as the the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board.
Stating that the "matter requires consideration", the bench of judicial member, Amit Sthalekar, and expert member, Saibal Dasgupta, issued notice to the NHAI and the NHIDC returnable within four weeks.
The NGT, while hearing the case earlier this month, also asked the respondents to file their counter-affidavits within four weeks and exchange the same among themselves and the petitioner.
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