Oversight Committee recommendations of protection of environment at Govardhan accepted by NGT

Petition:

A petition has been filed before NGT seeking the Tribunal’s intervention for protection of environment in Govardhan and surrounding areas, particularly Giriraj Parvat (Hill) near Mathura-Vrindavan. 

Recommendation of the Committee.

Contention of the petitioner:

  1. 8-10 million pilgrims from different parts of the World visit the Parikrama (path for walking around a sacred place) of Govardhan every month. They also visit the temples of Giriraj Ji, Radha Kund and other holy places in the vicinity. 
  2. However, on account of negligence of the authorities, there were challenges to the environment like illegal felling of trees, encroachments, unscientific dumping of solid waste and discharge of untreated sewage.
  3. There are various beliefs associated with different locations in the entire area. There is associated cultural and religious history. There are historical water bodies also, having religious and cultural significance. Large number of pilgrims visit on account of their religious sentiments.
Prayer of the petitioner:

One of the concerns of the applicants is that forest cover in the town of Goverdhan should not be destroyed and reserved forest land may not be diverted for any other purpose. This concern has shown on account of proposal for non-forest use of 3.9 hectares reserved forest land in Govardhan, for widening of the road.

Recommendations:
  1. The progress regarding certain essential environmental protection measures like development of permanent dumping sites, boundary wall/protection around protected forest sewage/drainage network around Govardhan/ Radhakund needs to be improved.
  2. The Construction of Radhakund Bypass needs to be expedited. There needs to be more urgency in starting the work on the service road. The construction of multi-level parking needs to be expedited.
  3. Action Plan for cleaning of 9 Kunds should be made urgently. The study being done by NEERI needs to be expedited.
  4. All encroachments on the Parikrama Marg need to be removed. Proactive efforts are made for vacation of stay orders.
  5. The status of investigation in case of encroachment by Braj Foundation be reported to NGT.
  6. Chief Secretary, UP should review the progress at least once in a quarter to ensure inter departmental coordination.

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