News Point: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, grants stay order against unauthorised dump yard in Noida Sector 138A.
One man’s relentless fight has led the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to question Noida Authority against the illegal garbage dump yard in the neighbourhood. The NGT has also granted an interim relief to the applicant with stay order.
When Gaurav Choudhury, a journalist by profession, bought an apartment in Noida Sector 137 along Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, he was confident to invest in an organized property market where the master plan being rolled out by the Noida Authority could tell him about the present and future developments.
In the planning of the Authority there was absolutely no provision of garbage dumping in the neighborhood. However, he was soon exposed to the reality of official apathy on part of the Authority. In the absence of the officials having any concrete plans to dispose and manage the garbage and other solid waste, they allowed the area to be used as an open garbage dumping ground.
The dumpers were fetching the garbage from all across the city. Even the industrial waste from the nearby SEZ region was being dumped over here. It was thus gradually turning the locality into a Ghazipur landfill site kind of stinking place.
After having met and given representation to the Noida Authority officials, who were clueless with the possible solutions of the health hazard, Gaurav Choudhury finally moved to the NGT for shifting of the dump yard away from the human settlement area, comprising of 8 housing societies and a few villages nearby.
The NGT has now given an interim order to stop further dumping and has given one week’s time to the Noida Authority to file its final reply.
“The NGT Chairman asked if there was an approved plan for the garbage dumping in the area. Since the area was not earmarked for the dump yard in the master plan of the city, he has given us interim protection with this stay order. It is a clear case of violation of rules on part of the Noida Authority,” said Ms. Sabah Iqbal Siddiqui, advocate for the applicant, Gaurav Choudhury.
Noida Authority had earlier not replied to the NGT’s query over why the site is being used as a dumping ground. The Authority have now been given last opportunity to file the reply.
Next hearing is on 6th December 2017, and if the Authority fails to give a satisfactory reply, the NGT might give the final judgment to shift the dump yard from the neighbourhood of 8 housing societies of Noida Sector 137.
The dump yard has been a health hazard for the residents living in the sector. They have been protesting for long to get it shifted away from the residential zone.
“Our demand has been to shift the dump yard to the designated location at Astroli in Greater Noida. The Noida Authority told us that the garbage disposal plant is yet not ready. If that were the case, then also they were supposed to dump the garbage, including industrial waste, away from the human habitation area. It is not only a cause of air pollution but also soil and water contamination,” says Gaurav Gupta, Founder President of Paras Tierea Apartment Owners’ Association.
Independent study has pointed out that Noida’s 14 lakh population generates nearly 660 tones of waste daily. However, the 40-year-old city still does not have a landfill site to dispose its municipal solid waste, which instead is dumped on roadsides and in vacant spaces. The large chunk of this waste is, of late, being dumped along the Noida Expressway.
Dr Ashutosh Marwah, a pediatrician, who lives in one of the housing societies, Supertech Eco Citi, believes the potential health hazards are even worse and yet to surface. According to him, with the open garbage dump that has dissolved toxins and heavy metal poisoning, it is a life threatening issue.
“All that we can check is the TDS level of the water without understanding the arsenic and other heavy metal toxins that could possibly lead to residents developing blood problems. Noida Authority has destroyed our eco system and I fear it may lead to birth defects tomorrow with pregnant women consuming such toxins,” says Dr Marwah.
The National Green Tribunal has now asked the Noida Authority as to what are the plans of the development authority to shift this piling garbage. The authority have thus far failed to come up with a detailed plan to remove the health hazard.
By: Ravi Sinha