Gurgaon builder to pay Rs 100 crore for ‘violation of green standards’

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The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued instructions to Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd to pay environmental compensation of Rs 100 crore for alleged violation of standards at its Sushant Lok Phase I property in Gurgaon. Delivered on June 7 to the president of the company, management requests that the amount be paid within 15 days of receipt.

In September 2018, an order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) following a petition said: “The allegations in this application, among other things, are that there is an encroachment by parks on the green spaces of the Block C of Sushant Lok, Phase I, Gurgaon. Illegal extraction and supply of contaminated groundwater takes place. There is no water collection system. There is no sewage treatment plant. The sewers in the area connect (to) the storm water drain. He requested a report from a joint panel with representatives from CPCB, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Haryana, Delhi School of Planning and Architecture, Central Authority for Groundwater and State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, Haryana.

The report, from November 2018, says the project developer is required to obtain environmental clearance. He said that “consent to establish and consent to operate have not been obtained. This is a breach of the Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act 1974 and the the Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act 1981 by the project proponent”. Regarding groundwater extraction, the report notes: “The project proponent has applied for the registration of 39 tube wells with the CGWA, but CGWA No Objection Certificate (NOC) for groundwater extraction is not available”. Rainwater harvesting system has not been provided and sewage “meets stormwater drainage as it does not go through the sewer system to HUDA STP,” according to the report.

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In a 2019 NGT order, the builder was ordered to halt all construction/expansion activity at Sushant Lok Phase I. The CPCB had also imposed compensation of Rs 16,729 crore for

discharge of untreated wastewater. The Haryana PCB was tasked with revoking the NOCs, consents and authorization granted to the builder, and the CGWA was tasked with imposing environmental compensation for groundwater extraction through 39 tube wells. The CGWA had assessed the compensation at Rs 40,44,000 per year.

Haryana PCB sources said the property, spread over around 600 acres, is a residential compound. The consents, which were granted by the PCB, were later revoked, they said.

The company took the case to the Supreme Court to challenge the 2020 NGT order. He stated that the order, which confirms the imposition of a fine by the CPCB, was issued “without hearing the appellant”. The appeal also states that there were no violations of environmental laws. The SC then ordered the status quo as to the possession of the property.

A September 2021 NGT order stated: “The violations found in the present case include lack of CE, consent to establishment, consent to operate, and consent to groundwater extraction. The compensation assessed concerns only the discharge of untreated sewage and the illegal extraction of groundwater. No compensation has been assessed for establishing a project without a prior EC. »

The NGT requested the revision of the scale of compensation, citing a judgment of the SC in the case Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt Ltd v Union of India. The recent directive issued by the CPCB also referred to the judgment which stated that environmental compensation of Rs 100 crore or 10% of the total project cost, whichever is greater, could be imposed.

When hearing the case in April, NGT reserved its order and said it would be uploaded to the website no later than May 27. It hasn’t been uploaded yet.

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