NGT Formed 7- Member Committee to Probe Alleging Environmental Violations by Tent City Project in Varanasi

The National Green Tribunal in the case Tushar Goswami v.Union of India & Ors observed and has constituted a seven-member joint committee to investigate alleged environmental violations by the Tent City Project, which being situated in Varanasi on the riverbed of the Ganga river.
However, in the project it has also been alleged to be harmful to the environment and causing the untreated sewage to flow directly into the river Ganga.
In the present case, the Tent City Project in Varanasi on the Ganga riverbed is said to have violated ‘The River Ganga (Rejuvenation, the Protection and Management) Authorities order, 2016’, wherein the construction is prohibited on the riverbed. It has also been told by the NGT that “for setting up the project, Notification dated 17.03.2020 was issued de-notifying Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary thereby lifting protection for the turtles under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
The bench comprising of the Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, the Judicial Member, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and the Expert Member, Dr Senthil Vel stated that the allegations, if true, which depict serious violations of environmental norms.
The application filed before NGT pertaining to the Tent City project in Varanasi, wherein occupying 100 acres of the Ganga riverbed for the commercial purposes.
Therefore, the project is being operated by PRAVEG Limited and the same is being undertaken at the behest of the authorities of the State of Uttar Pradesh.
The Tribunal also constituted a seven-member joint committee comprising of representatives from NMCG, MoEF and CC, CPCB, the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttar Pradesh, the Irrigation and Water Resource Department of Uttar Pradesh, the State PCB, and the District Magistrate of Varanasi for an factual report on the allegations made.
As per the order, the NMCG and State PCB will act as the nodal agency for coordination and compliance and the committee is being expected to convene within one week.
It has been directed by the NGT that the Committee to examine the legality of the project, the impact of it being on the Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary, river Ganga, and floodplain integrity, and whether it violates the mandate of the Ganga order 2016. Thus, the Committee is also expected for investigating incidental issues such as liquid and solid waste management, power supply, and its sources.

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