Wednesday, July 21, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Centre tests Mayawati’s patience on Noida park

Centre tests Mayawati's patience on Noida park
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, July 21, 2010

First Published: 00:22 IST(21/7/2010)
Last Updated: 00:25 IST(21/7/2010)

Even as the Mayawati Government gets impatient to complete
construction work and installation of Dalit leaders' statues at Dr
Bhimrao Ambedkar Park, Noida, the Centre seems to be in no hurry on
the issue. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the
Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) said it would need
more time to arrive at a "final and conclusive decision" regarding the
possible impact of such construction and felling of thousands of trees
on the environment.

The MOEF said the detailed study reports from Sálim Ali Centre for
Ornithology and Natural History and N.G. Ranga Agriculture University,
Hyderabad, Wildlife Preservation Institute, Dehradun and Environment
Consultants submitted by Noida Authority was reviewed by a panel of
experts on June 28 and 29.

"Given the gravity of the matter and nature of the project along with
its impact on surrounding bio-diversity and its proximity to the Okhla
Bird Sanctuary, the MOEF needs to get the measures recommended by the
three institutions, vetted by an appropriate body possessing the
requisite expertise, particularly in the field of wildlife
preservation and bio-diversity," the affidavit said.

"Given the nature of the findings and various viewpoints, the MoEF
will now move to examine the matter further in an integrated and
holistic manner before arriving at final and conclusive decision," the
Ministry said in the affidavit.

The MOEF affidavit is a setback to the Mayawati Government, which
claimed to be losing Rs 3 lakh a day due to the stay on the Rs
685-crore project. Maintaining that 75 per cent of the work had
already been completed, it wanted the court to lift the stay on
construction at the park, where statues of UP Chief Minister Mayawati
and her mentor late Kanshiram were to be installed.

The Forest Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia will
consider the affidavit on Friday.

The Supreme Court had on April 22 asked the MOEF to examine the likely
adverse impact of the felling of 6,000 trees and large-scale
construction at the park and submit a report.


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