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

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

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.

PHO­TOS: SU­NIL GHOSH

Putting a blan­ket ban on all con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties will only ben­e­fit de­vel­op­ers and hurt the in­ter­est of buy­ers

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