Arthala Lake encroachment: NGT asks Ghaziabad court to start ‘execution proceedings’

Observing that its 2016 order to remove encroachments from Ghaziabad’s Arthala Lake was not fully complied with, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had told the Ghaziabad district judge to proceed with its execution.

The Arthala lake is a major water body and located adjacent to river Hindon near the Grand Trunk Road.

Activist Sushil Raghav had moved the original petition with the NGT in 2015 following which the tribunal had passed its 2016 order.

“There were about 500-odd encroachment but only few of these were demolished by the corporation and the district administration. Since the NGT directions were not fully complied with, we moved for contempt proceedings,” said Raghav.

“We are of the view that once order has been passed by this tribunal which has attained finality, the same ought to be executed by the district magistrate, Ghaziabad and pond should be restored. We have been dealing with the matter for three years. The issue is of individual encroachments which can be also dealt with by the civil court, having local jurisdiction in terms of section 25(2) of the NGT Act, 2010 (sic.),” the tribunal observed while disposing off the petition on January 5.

The NGT while observing further that not much progress has been made for last more than three years, said, “Accordingly, we direct that a copy of order of this tribunal dated September 20, 2016 be forwarded to the District Judge, Ghaziabad for being entrusted to the concerned civil court so that the said civil court may proceed further with the execution proceedings in accordance with law (sic.).”

District magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey did not respond to the NGT order sent to him for his response.

MS Tanwar, the municipal-commissioner, said that the corporation will comply with the directions given by the NGT.

“There have been encroachments at the Arthala Lake and we had also drawn up a plan but we face resistance from locals, especially women, whenever we carry out enforcement,” he added.

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