Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding constructions on the banks of river Mahanoy, district Munger, Bihar, 31/07/2020

  • 31/07/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Mahanoy River Safety Society Vs State of Bihar & Others dated 31/07/2020. The case pertains to questions relating to allegation of constructions on the banks of river Mahanoy, district Munger, Bihar in violation of the distance criteria and its deleterious effect on the river and the environment. It was also stated that the construction work had converted the river Mahanoy virtually into a cesspool due to discharge of untreated water.

Report was called for from the Bihar Pollution Control Board (State PCB) and the District Magistrate, Munger after inspecting the area in question and verifying the facts. The Tribunal in its order of February 18, 2019 had said that the the primary question for determination in the case was whether the building of Block and Anchal office of the BDO in Tetiya Bambar, Munger district has been constructed within the impermissible limits of the river. Also whether there was any rules framed by the State Government prescribing criteria for constructions on the river banks. Even on August 26, 2019 the state government failed to place any such rules before the court.

However, the NGT had indicated that Bihar Building By-Laws, 2014 did exist and under Rule 22 (2) thereof there were certain criteria laid down. Going by the said prescription, the court had noted that the constructions fell within the prohibited area of 100 meters. Time was sought by the state and the case was listed a number of times and got adjourned. The NGT expressed its displeasure at the approach of the state government and said it was 'defiant and unacceptable'. "Repeated adjournments and failure to comply with orders of the Tribunal irrefutably leads us to draw an unmistakable conclusion that there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the State to subvert the course of the proceedings that calls for institution of appropriate proceedings against the authority/authorities responsible for the infraction", the court said. The court granted a final opportunity to the state to file a report before September 15, 2020.