The environmental problems of Omaxe dog housing projects

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The formation of a five-member joint committee comprising officials from various government departments by the National Green Tribunal means that the problems of the real estate company Omaxe Limited are far from over. A report of SHWETA MISHRA

The Abench led by the president of the NGT, Judge Adarsh ​​Kumar Goel, observed in his order of September 13 that “it seems necessary to verify the factual situation as well as the position of the statutory regulators and of the promoter of the project” . The NGT order stated that the joint committee could report within two months. The NGT has registered the case for the next hearing on January 4, 2022.

The court heard a plea challenging the legality of the constructions raised by Omaxe Limited and Omaxe Chandigarh Extension Developers Private Limited through their projects in Kansal, Rani Majra, Dhode Majra and Mullanpur in Mohali. Projects include Omaxe The Lake and Omaxe Cassia, among others. The bench led by Judge Adarsh ​​Kumar Goel, presiding judge, Judge Brijesh Sethi, judicial member and Dr Navin Nanda, expert member, heard an appeal raising concerns about the construction of the lake as well as the legality of other Ambrossia constructions , Celestial Grand Floors, Celestial Royal Floors, Cassia Floors, Mulberry Villas, Silver Birch Floors are said to be in violation of the EIA notification, 2006, as well as the provisions of the Water Act (Pollution Prevention and Control), 1974 ( Water Law) and the Environment (Protection) Law, 1986 (EP Law). According to the plea, the constructions are in violation of the 2006 Environmental Impact Assessment Notice, as well as the provisions of the 1974 Water Law and the 1986 Environmental Law.

It should be recalled that in acting earlier on a complaint that “The Lake”, a residential complex project of Omaxe Chandigarh Extension Developers Private Limited, in the New Chandigarh area “obstructed the natural flow of the Siswan River” , the National Green Tribunal had requested a report from the relevant departments of the government of Punjab. The NGT had, in an earlier ordinance, requested a factual report and action taken from a joint committee comprising the additional chief secretary of the Punjab, housing and urban development, the secretary of irrigation and the state authority. for Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIAA), in Punjab.

The NGT Ordinance noted that SEIAA will be the nodal agency for compliance and coordination. The NGT order stated: “The grievance in this application is that Omaxe Chandigarh Extension Developers Private Limited had set up a residential complex project called ‘The Lake’ obstructing the natural flow of the Sisvan River by filling and closing part of the village of Bharoujian and diverting it to another place close to Kansala, Sub-Tehsil Majri, from Mohali to the Punjab. The claimant relied on photographic images from Google showing that there was a creek in 2003 and that a road was built without a culvert to maintain the natural flow of the river. This created a potential for flooding and flooding did occur ”. Center, Government of Punjab, Greater Mohali Region Development Authority (GMADA), Department of Housing and Urban Development of Punjab, Department of Science, Technology and Environment of Punjab, Control Board of Punjab pollution, Central Pollution Control Board, Deputy Commissioner of Mohali, Omaxe Ltd and Omaxe Chandigarh Extension Developers Private Limited were made party to the complaint.

Citing images taken on Google Earth from 2003 to 2018, the plaintiffs alleged that the distinct curve taken by the river in the original flow “no longer exists at all and in this area where the river originally flowed, respondent Omaxe built the project / an illegal hot mix asphalt plant and a road was constructed where, instead of making the necessary culverts over the natural flow of the river, a small pipe was installed ”.

The NGT had hit Omaxe Limited while rejecting the plea of ​​the real estate developer seeking to recall the order for the formation of a committee which had found him guilty of altering the course of a river. The NGT had rejected Omaxe’s argument that there had been a violation of natural justice because he had not been heard during the formation of the committee. The Court observed that “the principles of natural justice aim to ensure the fairness of the procedure and have no fixed content”.

By its second ordinance of March 3, 2020, the NGT ordered compliance with the recommendations of the statutory regulators. Next, the NGT said that by its third order dated October 1, 2020, it found that the real estate developer had not complied with its previous position and that state officials were of the opposite opinion, to knowing that there was a diversion of the river when the contrary opinion was that there had been no diversion.

Thus, the Tribunal asked the Chief Secretary to reconcile the conflict against which no objection could be raised by anyone and no prejudice had been caused. Throughout even without formal notice, the Omaxe was duly involved in all the proceedings, which is clear from the appearance of Omaxe’s lawyer before this Tribunal, even without any formal notice, said the judiciary. . The court said its last order dated February 24, 2021 was made in the presence of the builder’s lawyer, although no formal notice was issued. No grievance of prejudice arising from previous orders has been raised. In addition, no prejudice was caused by said order, as the committee was expressly required to provide the opportunity to stakeholders and such an opportunity was in fact given. In addition, the report could be viewed from the website with respect to the said order and the objections filed. Thus, the prayer of reminder of said injunctions has no merit, said the judiciary. The court said Omaxe now wanted to reverse its previous position by raising hyper technicality in the name of natural justice. His position is clearly unfair and unfair and not for justice, the judiciary said.

The NGT said the committee visited the site and found that the area’s natural drainage system was disturbed due to stagnant water from the creek, which could be corrected by building a culvert. The court said that the manufacturer’s recommendations for corrective measures are based on their own consent and that the attempt is now to evade them on the basis of the hyper technicality of the formal notice. There is therefore absolutely no instance of a recall of orders or grounds for rejecting the Committee’s report and the ground is hereby dismissed. In view of the latest findings of the National Green Tribunal giving the commission two months to file its report and appeal against the builder set for January 2022, it seems, the troubles related to environmental issues concerning Omaxe are far from over.

Omaxe does not respond to requests

Tehelka requested a version of Rohtas Goel, Founder and President of Omaxe Limited via email to rohtas@omaxe.com in addition to a WhatsApp message. However, there was no response. We reproduce the mail sent:

Dear Rohtas Goel,

Tehelka, as you know, is a news house known for its journalism of free, fearless and fair courage. Our writer for Tehelka, Shveta Mishra filed a story for Tehelka about ongoing issues regarding environmental violations in your housing projects, including The Lake and Omaxe Cassia and the legality of other constructions Ambrossia, Celestial Grand Floors, Celestial Royal Floors, Cassia Floors, Mulberry Villas, Silver Birch Floors allegedly violated the EIA notification, 2006, as well as the provisions of the Water Act (Pollution Prevention and Control), 1974 (Water Act) and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EP Act). responsible news house, we would love to have your version as founder and chairman of Omaxe Limited to accompany the story. Please send your response within the next three days so that your response will be incorporated into the story.

tehelkaletters@gmail.com


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