Environment Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma's Hospital gets notice for environment violations
New Delhi: In a one of its kind development, a hospital owned by Union Environment Minister, Dr Mahesh Sharma, has received a notice from the National Green Tribunal seeking its response on alleged violations of Environment laws of the country.
It is reported that notice has been issued by the National Green Tribunal to Kailash Healthcare Private Limited, seeking a response to allegations of illegal construction by its Noida Hospital on a green belt in neighbouring Noida. The notice comes in response to a petition filed by a environmental activist Vikrant Tongad, alleging encroachment of green belt area, violation of dust control norms and groundwater extraction for construction by the under-construction branch of the hospital in sector 71 in Noida. The petitioner further alleged that the hospital felled trees which are older than 10 years for the purpose of the construction
"The green belt in question has been encroached upon by respondent number 6 (Kailash Healthcare Ltd) for the construction of a private hospital. The satellite image of the location clearly shows trees at the spot prior to their removal," the petition stated.
"This act of construction on the green belt is in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the National Forest Policy and various directions of this hon'ble tribunal," the petition added.
Acknowledging a petition by environmental activist Vikrant Tongad, the green court issued notice to Kailash Healthcare Ltd, along with the Uttar Pradesh government, Forest Department, Horticulture Department, and Noida authorities.The tribunal will hear the matter on November 27.
Indian Express reports that responding to the allegations, R N Sharma, president of Kailash Healthcare, said, "A plot of land measuring 5,000 square metres was allotted to us by the Noida Authority. We are building an underground parking on 2,500 square metres on top of which a park will be created. On the rest of the area, a green belt has to be maintained by us. All this is being done as per regulations and a licence fee has also been paid for it."
Kailash Healthcare Ltd is owned by Dr Mahesh Sharma, who is a member of Parliament from Gautam Budh Nagar, of which Noida forms a part. Sharma is Minister of State for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change as well as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture.