Indirapuram green belt under threat

NCR matters

Indirapuram green belt under threat

Indirapuram couldn’t have gotten a bigger jolt to its reputation of being a green city. One of the biggest green belts here – an expanse of 5000 trees along NH 24 is
being cleared to set up a gas-insulated sub-station.

The residents of nearby areas have complained to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and gotten a stay on the construction of the station. Many trees, though, have been axed
already.

Jigyasu Pant, resident of the adjoining Gaur Green City, says, “It is strange to see how our authorities work. This green belt is no wild growth. It was developed by the GDA in 2010 and we the residents were in fact invited to participate in the plantation drive. These saplings have barely grown when the GDA now wants to raze them.

“Had there been more greenery here, we would have probably not objected but this is the only big plantation in our area. There is NH 24, the green belt and our building immediately after. So once these trees are destroyed, we will be deprived of any greenery and will face the station directly. In fact, we will share our boundary wall with the station.”

Residents here point out that the land use of this patch still says ‘Green Belt’ under the Ghaziabad Master Plan 2021.

This means that the ‘area development’ is being done circumventing certain rules. Further, there is also a serious violation of Environment Protection Act, 1986 due to hazardous electro-magnetic radiation emitted by high voltage power sub-stations.

The closer a human habitation is to a power sub-station, higher is the electro magnetic field exposure and related health problems.

Maneesh Gupta, another resident says, “Last time we approached the GDA, they told us that this was the only available land for them to build a sub-station but what is our fault? Localities close to such stations are known to have the highest number of child leukemia cases. Why should our children have to suffer this? Why can’t the authorities find another space?”

Taking cognisance of the issue, the NGT, in an order dated July 24 said, “Prima facie, a case is made out for an exparte interim stay on the project. Satus quo is to be maintained till further orders are passed in the matter. The GDA is to reply before August 24.” It is a long battle ahead for residents of Indirapuram it seems.

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