The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued notice to a hospital owned by Union Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma, seeking a response to allegations of illegal construction on a green belt in neighbouring Noida.
Acknowledging a petition by environmental activist Vikrant Tongad, the green court issued notice to Kailash Healthcare Ltd, along with the Uttar Pradesh government, Forest Department, Horticulture Department, and Noida authorities.
The petitioner said the hospital was being constructed in the green belt of National Highway No.1 in Noida’s Sector 71.
“The matter pertains to illegal construction on the designated green belt of NH-1 in Sector 71, Noida, Uttar Pradesh. This act of construction on the green belt is in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the National Forest Policy and various directions of this hon’ble tribunal,” the petition said.
The activist pointed out that while the construction is causing air pollution, several trees were illegally chopped during construction and groundwater extracted while the authorities turned a blind eye.
“The green belt in question has been encroached upon by respondent number 6 (Kailash Healthcare Ltd) for the construction of a private hospital. The satellite image of the location clearly shows trees at the spot prior to their removal,” the petition added.
Kailash Healthcare Ltd is owned by Mahesh Sharma, who is a member of Parliament from Gautam Budh Nagar, of which Noida forms a part.
Sharma is Minister of State for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change as well as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture.
The tribunal will hear the matter on November 27.