Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding the requirement of a green belt along NH 53, 10/11/2020
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Manoj Arjun Golher & Others Vs The Collector and District Magistrate & Others dated 10/11/2020.
The application seeks direction to comply with the requirement of green belt along the National Highway No. 53 from Mumbai to Kolkata at village Chirvha, tahsil Mouda, district Nagpur, as per “Guidelines on Landscaping and Tree Plantation” prepared by Indian Road Congress stipulating action as per Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, beautification and Maintenance) Policy-2015, duly adopted by the National High Authority of India (NHAI).
According to the applicants, National Highway No. 53 from Mumbai to Kolkata is being constructed by the NHAI. On both sides green belt is required to be maintained upto 75 mts. from the centre of the highway. The NHAI has a plantation and maintenance policy to develop eco-friendly highways to reduce the impact of air pollution and dust. Trees and shrubs are natural sink for the air pollutants. As against this requirement, the applicants learnt that there was a proposal of the Maharashtra Government to allow rehabilitation in the green belt.
Prayer in the application is to set aside such proposals and to quash allotment in the green belt, including demolition of the constructions already raised.
The NGT directed the State of Maharashtra and its authorities to restore the green belt on which allotments have been made and remove any construction made therein in violation of law within two months. The execution of this direction would be overseen by a Committee comprising the Collector, Nagpur, NHAI and the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board. The state PCB would be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.