The Orissa High Court has stayed the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order stopping construction activities over the plot of land allotted by the State Government to the Siksha O Anusandhan (SOA) Trust.
“As an interim measure, the impugned order dated 12.12.2022 passed by National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata is hereby stayed till the next date”, the single bench of High Court Justice Dr. S.K.Panigrahi ordered on Monday.
There is no squabble that the GA Department is custodian of the land in question and must comply with all legal formalities, while allotting lands. However, such a position now stands changed with the grant of the environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, for the project in question after the requisite legal due diligence, the HC observed.
The allegations with regard to the Kisam i.e. nature of land being ex facie flimsy in nature; coupled with the fact that the environmental clearance has now been granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, said the bench.
According to the bench, the NGT stayed the construction activity over the land in question. The order was passed ex parte without giving an opportunity of hearing to the present petitioner. Even the clarification related to the issue of “fencing does not construe to be construction activities” was not shown to the Tribunal by the applicant.
“The Petitioner has already commenced construction of IMS & SUM Hospital (Campus-II) over the land in question. The Kisam of the land in question is “Nayanjori” through which storm water is discharged, which could not have been allotted by the General Administration Department, Government of Odisha. It is also submitted that the land which is a water body must be preserved as a water body and cannot be converted for any use other than water body in view of the judgment of Supreme Court”, the petition moved by Pratap Chandra Mohanty with the NGT had alleged.
The Kolkata-based NGT Eastern Zone Bench stayed the construction activities on the ground that the allotted plot was classified in “Nayanjori” category through which, storm water is discharged.
The apex green tribunal ordered the stay on December 12, 2022 forcing the Sikshya “O” Anusandhan to move the Orissa High Court.