NGT order vague and irrational, say homebuyers BAN BASED ON MEDIA REPORTS
Question logic behind ban on construction of buildings on the basis of media reports
The recent National Green Tribunal (NGT) order banning construction activity near NH 24 and Golf Course Road, Gurgaon, has left hundreds of people who have invested in the area crying foul. They question how such an order can be passed just on the basis of newspaper reports and photographs without proper analysis of the entire issue.
The NGT on April 7, 2015, taking cognisance of some newspaper reports on pollution due to construction activities in a two-kilometre stretch from NH 24 to Charmurti Chowk in Noida Extension and Golf Course Road Gurgaon, had said: “In these circumstances, we hereby direct the state of UP, Noida and Greater Noida Authority, HUDA, state of Haryana and NCT, Delhi to immediately direct stoppage of construction activities of all the buildings shown in the report as well as at other sites wherever construction is being carried on in violation of the direction of NGT as well as the MoEF (ministry of environment and forest) guidelines of 2010.”
The NGT should have asked the concerned development authority to file a report after identifying the erring developers. It should have then imposed a heavy fine on such developers, says Indresh Gupta, founder- member of Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Welfare Association (NEFOWA).
Putting a blanket ban on all construction activities will only benefit developers and hurt the interest of homebuyers. Several projects have been delayed by years in Greater Noida west (also known as Noida Extension) and developers are making one excuse or another to buyers for this delay. “Now the NGT order has come as a boon in disguise for them. It’s a very bad and irrational order,” laments Gupta.
Many people feel that the NGT should also direct the Noida and Greater Noida Authorities to pay EMIs on behalf of all the homebuyers affected by the ban. It’s because of the builder- development authority nexus due to which developers are violating norms, they allege.
“In Gurgaon, there are many areas which are more polluted by construction activities than Golf Course Road, but the NGT has not banned construction work there. It has also ordered that construction be stopped ‘at other sites wherever construction is being carried out in violation of the direction of NGT as well as the MoEF guidelines of 2010.’ Who will decide where the other sites are? If the responsibility has been fixed on development authorities then NGT should not have specifically imposed a ban in two areas,” says Ashish Kaul, a resident of Gurgaon.
“The NGT should have fixed the responsibility of curbing pollution on the development authorities and asked them to penalise defaulters heavily. There may be some developers in Golf Course Road in Gurgaon or Noida Extension who abide by NGT rules and environmental norms but the ban order will impact them also just because the violation is on the large scale which causes pollution,” adds Kaul.
Putting a blanket ban on all construction activities will only benefit developers and hurt the interest of buyers