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NGT seeks fresh report on redevelopment of exhibition-cum-convention centre in Pragati Maidan

Directions came after joint committee pointed out deficiencies in execution of project and made recommendations

The National Green Tribunal has sought a fresh report from a committee on the re-development of Pragati Maidan exhibition complex here after a plea sought stopping of construction there.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel sought the report within a month from a committee comprising officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, CPCB and DPCC.

“The joint committee constituted by this Tribunal may look into the matter and furnish a further report within a month by e-mail,” the bench said.

The tribunal passed the order after perusing a report dated July 25 from a joint committee comprising officials from the Union Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

The report suggested that DPCC should decide the Grant of Consent To Establish for the entire ITPO premises and Consent To Operate for the Ready Mix Concrete Plant at the earliest.

“Construction and Demolition Waste, presently available at a few places within the premises of ITPO, be sent to authorised processing facility at the earliest. During construction phase, strict compliance to provisions of ‘C and D Waste Management Rules 2016’ and its subsequent amendments dt. January 25, 2018 and CPCB guidelines with regard to dust mitigation measures be ensured by ITPO in letter and spirit,” the committee said.

The report also sought strict legal action be initiated against Public Works Department of the Delhi government on account of its failure to comply with the directions issued by CPCB.

The tribunal had earlier noted that CPCB wrote a letter dated November 12, 2018 to the DPCC pointing out deficiencies in the development of the project and seeking remedial action by DPCC, though no such action has been taken.

The tribunal had last year cleared the project and refused to quash the environmental clearance.

The NGT had dismissed a plea which also sought quashing of environmental clearance granted to the India Trade Promotion Organisation that manages the exhibition complex.

The green panel had said doubts have been expressed by the applicant on the reliability of the studies undertaken and the credibility of the Environment Impact Assessment Report, but they are not supported by better materials and the plea deserves to be rejected.

It had said the examination and scrutiny of the process does not reveal any substantial deficiency so as to vitiate the environmental clearance.

The tribunal had said however that it was necessary for the Environment Ministry and other regulatory authorities to ensure that each of the conditions of the environmental clearance are meticulously complied with by monitoring the project closely.

It had directed that physical inspections of the project site be held periodically to ensure that the conditions of the environmental clearance are complied with both during the construction and the operational phases.

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Verhaen Khanna for stopping the construction of Integrated Exhibition cum Convention Centre and taking further remedial action against illegal construction.

The redevelopment plan is to develop a total of 3,26,065 sq m of built-up area, including 1,19,445 sq m of exhibition space, a convention centre with seating capacity of 7,000 people with a number of different-sized meeting rooms, space for public circulation in phase-I.