NGT directs PCB to act as nodal agency, directs Collector, CMC to submit joint report on illegal construction of slum on Birupa rived bed

Bhubaneswar: The National Green tribunal, Kolkata has directed on Thursday to comply to the earlier order about submission of joint report by District Collector, Cuttack, Commissioner Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC), Secretary State Pollution Control Board and Secretary Urban Development over illegal construction of slums near Birupa River and Jagatpur.

The court expressed anguish and directed to submit a report.

Advocate Lalitendu Mishra and was assisted by Somjeet Das who was arguing on behalf of Binod Das, President of the Odisha Rowing Association stated that the construction activity and reclamation of river bed, encroachment of river embankment near Birupa river, establishment of slum in the river bed at Cuttack is affecting the river ecology and polluting the environment. There is also a chance of dumping of debris and garbage in the river.

He further argued that the CMC and district administration have no right to use such river bed for establishment of slum. Since, Birupa river is the tributary of Mahanadi, its sanctity and environment will be destroyed unless the illegal constructions of slums are removed. Court has taken serious note of it.

During the hearing the CMC counsel has submitted that they are withdrawing from the disputed area.
The Court has directed the PCB to act as a nodal agency and should be responsible for all logistic support and other actions to be taken. The order said the PCB should act against CMC and furnish a report.

Earlier, the tribunal had sought a reply and directed them to file a reply.

Mishra had stated that the applicant is the president of the Association (OARS) which organises and fosters Rowing and Sculling sports in Odisha and it carry forward all the national and international events of rowing sports in the interest of people of Odisha since 2001.

Mishra in his argument had stated that the applicant filed an original application bearing O.A. No.46 of 2020 EZ in the interest of the all the people of Odisha before NGT, Kolkata, who are likely to be affected by the arbitrary and illegal action of the CMC in planning to settle the people of slum area as part of SCB expansion program to near Birupa River and Jagatpur water sports complex.

He had said that it will affect the rowing course and the works for the international event, which is not only in violation of provision of law but also is a violation of various fundamental and constitutional rights which are enshrined and guaranteed to the citizens in the Constitution of India.

Mishra had stated that applicant came to know about this arbitrary action when the CMC through its letter dated 31.01.2020 called for a tender notice dated 31/01/2020 and started construction of slums and toilets.

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