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Green panel seeks wetland report

The bench issued the ruling after the environment department submitted that action had been taken in only 5 of the 357 cases
The East Calcutta Wetlands

Jayanta Basu   |   Calcutta   |   Published 11.02.20, 09:46 PM

The National Green Tribunal on Monday asked the state environment department to submit a status report detailing the action taken or will be taken against persons violating wetland norms.

The principal bench of the tribunal, which issued the order, also requested Calcutta High Court to set up a court or make any other arrangement to expeditiously deal with the complaints about violation of the East Calcutta Wetlands.

The bench of Justice S.P. Wangdi and expert members S.S. Garbyal and S. Das issued the ruling after the environment department submitted that action had been taken in only five of the 357 cases of wetland encroachment filed by the East Kolkata Management Authority.

The authority, which reports to the environment department and is chaired by the state environment minister, was set up in 2006 to look after the East Calcutta Wetlands.

“Action could be taken in only five cases because the others are stuck in various judicial proceedings,” environment secretary Prabhat Mishra, also member-secretary of the authority, submitted before the bench.

“The bench also asked the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation to act quickly on the basis of the action-taken plan they have submitted to the bench and directed Nabadiganta Industrial Development Authority (which looks after the civic affairs of Sector V) to follow Bidhannagar’s example of managing solid waste without violating wetland norms,” said environment activist Subhas Datta, the petitioner of the case.

The tribunal had censured the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation for dumping waste in Mollar Bheri, a wetland. The civic body now dumps its solid waste in Dhapa.

“We will soon submit a status report to the bench,” said Bikash Kar Gupta, the lawyer who represented the state government in the case.

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