NGT directs UP govt to take action against unregulated solid waste dumping in Yamuna

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has refused to entertain a plea by washermen against the proposed demolition of a dhobi ghat at Jamia Nagar in Okhla on the ground that it falls in the ‘O’ zone of the Yamuna river where construction is prohibited.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said steps taken for protection of floodplain remains to be satisfactorily addressed and the encroachment is huge.

“It is clear that encroachment from floodplain is to be removed by the Delhi Development Authority which is to be demarcated by it in the ‘O’ zone of the master plan.

As per the letter of the DDA, the dhobi ghat in question is in ‘O’ zone.

This being the factual position, no further order is necessary,” the bench said.

The tribunal said that Yamuna floodplain must be demarcated and kept free from any permanent construction and wherever it is possible, it should be restored to its original position.

The green panel was hearing a plea filed by the Muslim Kassar Vikas Sangthan against the proposed demolition of the dhobi ghat.

According to the plea, the dhobi ghat is located 2.5 kilometres away from the waters of the Yamuna river.

The petitioner submitted that the status quo be maintained as the site concerned is still being used by washermen to earn a living, who are otherwise facing economic difficulties on account of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.