Pay Damages For Violations Or Face The Music: NGT To Sushant Lok-1 Builder
Sushant Lok-1, one of the largest privately developed residential colonies in Gurgaon, may be headed towards a “closure”. Citing a January-8 order of the National Green Tribunal, media reports say the developer of the residential colony that houses over 10,000 families may be asked to close Sushant Lok-1, if it fails to pay damages for 10 serious environmental violations.
“The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will be at liberty to coordinate with authorities concerned, including the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB). Action may include recovery of damages for loss to environment, closure of project as well prosecution under relevant statutory provisions,” The Times of India quoted from the NGT order.
Among the violations that the Ansal API-built 30-year colony has been charged with include encroachment of green areas, extraction of ground water without required permission, absence of sewage treatment plants and failure of maintenance of facilities. While being in violation of several construction and development norms, the residential colony also does not have functional rainwater harvesting systems or sewage treatment plant. It also failed to take permission for the authorities concerned for various development works.
The NGT orders comes after a panel, appointed by the green tribunal to look into the alleged irregularities in Sushant Lok-1 in September last year, submitted its report and found the residential colony guilty of all accounts.
The NGT also came down heavily on authorities concerned for their laggard approach.
“It’s clear that despite serious violations, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has failed to perform its duties in taking statutorily mandated coercive measures under Sections 31A of the Air Act and 33B of the Water Act, or initiating prosecution. The Central Ground Water Authority, the CPCB, HSPCB have also failed to perform their duties. The Department of Town and Country Planning appears to have colluded,” the NGT order said.
It is worth mention here that Sushant Lok-1 is among the eight privately developed colonies that the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon is in process of taking over because of their failure to maintain themselves. The residential colonies, one of the biggest in the Millennium City, is spread across sectors 27, 28, 43 and 52.