Agra, 2017.03.22 (Aditya Devi, TOI): The National Green Tribunal imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Union water resources ministry on Tuesday for not submitting a reply in the petition against the riverfront project and interceptor drain in Vrindavan. The tribunal had asked the ministry to submit a reply on the issue within two weeks. However, it failed to reply within the given time period, following which the NGT imposed the fine and posted the case for hearing to March 31.
Interestingly, a ministry official submitted an affidavit soon after the hearing was over. In the reply, the ministry stated that it has knowledge about the ongoing project and other construction activities near the river in Vrindavan. It further stated that a proposal for the upgrading of a sewage treatment plant at Rajpur in the holy city is under consideration by the ministry.
During the last hearing on February 22, the NGT had given a final chance to the ministry to file its reply in the Vrindavan heritage ghats case. The tribunal had said that if the reply is not filed within the stipulated time, it will be bound to impose a fine on the ministry.
Akash Vashishtha, petitioner in the case, said, “After finding that the ministry has still not submitted a reply after three weeks of the earlier order, it directed the ministry to deposit the fine immediately.”
In a plea to the NGT, Vashishtha had opposed the state government’s proposed riverfront development project which aims at expansion, renovation and beautification work of Kesi ghat and 32 other ghats of the holy city at a cost of Rs 100 crore.