The National Green Tribunal on Monday dismissed a plea seeking permission to undertake developmental works in Govardhan Parikrama.
The Government of Uttar Pradesh through UP Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad (UPTVP) had proposed a project for providing paragolas (Tourist sheds), water kiosks, toilets and high mask lights. Out of total land required for execution of the project, some of its part falls on the reserve forest area. The Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd, the executing agency of the UPTVP, had made an application before the court to give permission to carry on the proposed developmental project.
The Principal bench of NGT dismissed the application, by stating that the Govardhan hill falls on the reserve forest area, it needed forest clearance for any construction work; the court said the plea was not maintainable.
The court was hearing the case on the original application filed by the Giriraj Parikrama Sanrakshan Sansthan, which sought remedial action against the violation environmental norms in Govardhan and surrounding areas. Advocate Pinki Anand argued on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh.
Sarthak Chaturvedi, the counsel for Baba Anand Gopal Das and Satya Prakash Mangal of Giriraj Parikrama Sanrakshan Samiti said, “Instead of following the recommendation of the panel constituted by the NGT to execute the necessary works, the government is wasting millions of rupees in the name of beautification.” “Certain essential environmental protection measures like development of permanent dumping site, boundary wall protection around the reserve forest, improvement of drainage and sewage around Govardhan and Radhakund haven’t been implemented so far”, alleged Shri Chaturvedi. He further added, “The work on the service roads haven’t begun yet. It would make problems for the pilgrims in coming days.”
The project proposed by the UPTVP contemplates provisions for 13 pargola. The size of each pergola is 30 meters long and 6 meters wide under which benches for pilgrims would be installed. The project also contemplates construction of 8 water kiosks, 3 toilet blocks and installation of high mask lights. On the edges of the proposed 6 meters track, 0.3 meter wide optical fiber cable was also proposed to be laid. Out of total land required for the execution of the project, 0.822308 hectare land falls within the reserve forest area.