The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned civic garbage burning in the holy town of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.

It has restrained Vrindavan local municipal body from burning domestic waste in the open. The order, which came on Monday was made available on Wednesday.

Counsel for petitioner Rahul Choudhary told IANS that the NGT had given interim orders on a petition filed by activist Madhumangal Shukla. 

"It was a matter of grave urgency and the NGT was requested to give a direction before the court takes a break for summer vacation," Choudhary said.

The NGT has also restrained civic authorities and private construction firms from dumping debris on the banks of the Yamuna river.

Shukla alleged that the land mafia were encroaching the river bed by piling debris on the ghats. 

Activists have long been complaining to the district administration that the land grabbers in the holy town of Vrindavan were piling up garbage on the river bed and have extended ncroachments right into the river.

Mathura’s Braj Bachao Samiti has welcomed the NGT direction and hoped it would help check encroachment on the river bed. 

Braj Bachao Samiti president Manoj Choudhary said the flood plains too need to be cleared of encroachments, and for this a separate application is being filed before the NGT.

Meanwhile, the Vrindavan municipal workers, when told of the NGT directive, said they have no idea what to do with the waste and garbage. 

"Almost half of the garbage was burnt at several sites and the remaining was dumped along the river bank," said Dinesh, a sanitation worker.

However, Vrindavan Nagar Palika chairman Mukesh Gautam aid: "It is all nonsense. There is no encroachment on the river bank. It is all big lies by blackmailers who don’t want Vrindavan to develop."