New Delhi, April 25 | Noting the non-compliance of its order passed over five years ago for the removal of encroachment of a ‘Johad’ — a traditional water harvesting system, the National Green Tribunal held that Chief Engineer, Delhi Jal Board, and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Najafgarh are responsible in the matter and directed them to solve the issue within one month.
The principal bench of NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel was dealing with an application seeking execution of an order dated December 9, 2016, directing the removal of encroachment from a water body spread over nearly 2 acres at Issarpur village in Delhi.
Accordingly, a committee was constituted and the SDM, Najafgarh, Jal board, and other officials were roped in.
In the latest development in July last year, the Tribunal had sought a factual report from District Magistrate, South West, and Chief Engineer, DJB in this regard.
The committee on April 20, this year apprised the various steps it took on the issue, including the removal of unwanted vegetation such as shrubs, wild grass, pruning of leaning branches of standing trees, the work of revival of existing recharge structures, repair of pitching and other civil works, etc.
After checking the report, the green court, in the order passed on April 22, observed that even though the order was earlier passed by the Tribunal more than five years ago, which made provision about the source of funds as well as accountability for the rejuvenation of the waterbody, the encroachment has still not been fully removed.
“Accordingly, compliance may now be ensured within one month which will be the responsibility of the Chief Engineer, DJB and SDM, Najafgarh. They are free to coordinate with any other higher responsible officer for ensuring compliance instead of avoiding the work necessary for the protection of the water body. They will be held accountable personally if noncompliance continues,” said the order.
While Listing the matter for further hearing on July 15, the tribunal directed Chief Engineer, DJB, and SDM, Najafgarh to remain present in person through video conferencing.
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