NGT directs Delhi & Haryana to prepare environment mgmt. plan for revival of Najafgarh Lake

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The Principal bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) headed by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Delhi and Haryana governments to jointly prepare an Environment Management Plan within 3 months for clearing encroachments and to revive the Najafgarh Lake. The NGT also asked the MoEF&CC to steer the process and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to act as the coordinator.

The matter had been disposed of in 2017 when the state of Haryana submitted before the NGT that the water body in question was a lake and the state was in the process of declaring it as such.

However, after no movement on the same an Execution Application as filed by the NGO INTACH through their counsel Akash Vashishtha. While the matter was being heard the district magistrate of Gurugram submitted before the Tribunal that no such water body existed in revenue records. However these divergent views—one of state counsel and the other of the collector did not rule out that there was indeed a large water body overlapping parts of Najafgarh and Haryana state.

The petitioner’s counsel, Akash Vashishtha, countered the Haryana Govt’s stand that Najafgarh Lake was just an ordinary water body. 

He told the court that Haryana had already submitted a Brief Document to the MoEF&CC in 2017, to notify it as a wetland under the Wetland Rules 2010.

Vashishtha submitted that it was an Execution Application and Haryana had no occasion to flip-flop on the matter and rebut its own position submitted by it before the NGT earlier. 

By Prasoon Pant