Sun, 31 May 2009
HC blocks Maya’s Ganga Expressway project Vijay Pratap Singh Posted online: Saturday , May 30, 2009 at 0043 hrs Allahabad : In another setback for the Mayawati Government after the
Supreme Court order to give provisional appointment to 18,700 dismissed cops, the Allahabad High Court on Friday quashed the environmental clearance for the ambitious Ganga Expressway project.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Arun Tandon ruled that the environmental clearance obtained by the Government did not conform to the provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
The Bench asked the Government to obtain fresh environmental clearance according to the guidelines laid down by the Act — work on the ambitious project cannot proceed until this is done.
The project was launched by Mayawati soon after the BSP came to power in UP in 2007. The 1,047-km, access-controlled, eight-lane expressway, running along the Ganga river, will connect Greater Noida in west UP to Ballia in the east. The project was awarded to the JP Group, but
work is yet to begin. In fact, even land acquisition has not started yet.
The petition challenging the clearance was filed by Vindhya Environmental Society, an NGO. Rahul Mishra, the petitioner’s counsel, argued that all four stages of clearance were completed in a haste.
The four stages are — screening of the project for its environmental impact, scoping which includes terms of reference on points affecting environment, public hearing of objections and suggestions from the local administration and people who would be affected by the project
and fourth is the final appraisal of the project.
The government managed to do the screening, scoping and appraisal in a day, but did not release the environment impact assessment report to the local administration.