Tree felling near Taj Mahal prompts NGT to issue notice to UP gov, Centre
New Delhi, Feb 16: An allegation of tree felling in the eco-sensitive zone near the Taj Mahal prompted the NGT to seek response from the Centre and the UP government on Thursday.
A bench headed by National Green Tribunal chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to the Environment Ministry, the UP government and the state pollution control board seeking their reply by March 15, the next date of hearing.
It also included legal aid NGT Bar Association, through its executive member advocate Gaurav Bansal, as a party in the case. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Taj Mahal Welfare Association through its secretary Mukesh Kumar seeking action against those responsible for chopping trees near the marble monument despite a ban by the Supreme Court.
The petitioner association had written a one-page letter to the NGT alleging that an illegal construction activity of a hotel and resort in Agra was being undertaken in the Taj Trapezium Zone near the eastern gate of Taj Mahal.
It said that one person had allegedly cut 20-25 trees on an area of 12,000 sq feet for building a hotel and when the matter was brought to the notice of the Agra Development Authority, it turned a deaf year to the whole issue.
In a separate case, the NGT had earlier directed the UP government to ensure that no unauthorised construction activities are permitted and no trees cut in the eco-sensitive zone near the monument.