Immediately PAY attention and STOP all activities including demolition, tree felling and clearing of vegetation, dumping of debris, discharge of untreated sewage, dredging, digging, filling, levelling, construction, etc. along / in / around the Vishwamitri River and its environs (banks, ravines, tributaries, ponds, wetlands, etc.) AND thoroughly RELOOK the “Development” works going on in and around Vadodara City
Following are some of the major issues that were raised in our letter dated 20.10.2018:
- Violation of the Gujarat High Court Order dated 02.08.2002 in SCA No. 10621 of 2000 (Shailesh Shah V/s State of Gujarat)
- Violation of the Interim Order dated 25.05.2016 of the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (Western Bench) in Application No. 49 of 2016 (Rohit Prajapati and Anr V/s Secretary MoEFCC & Ors)
- Violation of the Order dated 22.02.2017 of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 of 2012 (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anrs V/s Union of India & Ors) and NGT, Principal Bench, Delhi Order dated 03.08.2018 in Original Application No. 593 of 2017, (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anrs V/s Union of India & Ors) amounting to the Contempt of the Court.
- Non-compliance by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation of the Order No. SEIAA/GuJ/General/512/2016 dated 09.08.2016 passed by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Gujarat passed in the Withdrawal Application for VRDP Project No. SIA/GJ/NCP/4584/2015 dated 05/08/2016 of Vadodara Municipal Corporation
- Violation of ‘The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016’ and direction of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Gandhinagar dated 08.01.2018
- Letter to the Municipal Commissioner and others on this subject, dated 25.12.2017
The reply through a letter, dated 16.11.2018, by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and sent and copied to us, is highly casual, trivial, and flippant, and it does not address any of the concerns raised by us in our letter to them, dated 20.10.2018. It is quite apparent that the VMC is taking this matter very lightly and hence this response sent to us is not acceptable, especially when it is coming from an accountable and representatives of a government authority. The letter is in Gujarati, the content of which is translated below:
With reference to the above subject and context, we let you know that our office is going to reply to the letter, dated 20.10.2018, by the Applicant Shree Rohit Prajapati. In addition, it is requested that you read in detail the email letter, application included with this letter, (and) give reply of action taken by related to your department, office.
A copy of the letter, dated 16.11.2018, of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is attached herewith the letter.
The intervening Diwali holidays apart, the above response appears to be both, passing of the buck as well as of time. It is an indication of the nonchalant or “go-slow” attitude of the concerned VMC officers, indirectly including the Commissioner as well.
On the other hand, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Gandhinagar promptly deputed Vigilance Officers to address our concerns regarding dumping of debris, filling, levelling, construction, etc. along / in / around the Vishwamitri River and its environs (banks, ravines, tributaries, ponds, wetlands, etc.) and non-compliance of ‘The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016’ and direction of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Gandhinagar dated 08.01.2018. The Vigilance Officers of GPCB, Vadodara invited our team to conduct a joint field investigation exercise on 02.11.2018. As per our understanding, the report has been promptly submitted to GPCB, Gandhinagar for further action.
Such misconduct by the VMC invites stringent actions from all responsible and concerned authorities and that is why we look forward to not only your positive prompt and firm response, but also an exemplary and immediate action to protect, restore, and nurture the environment; thoroughly relook at all the development activities; and promote better development in and around Vadodara, especially the Vishwamitri River and its environs.