Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding obstruction of the flow of river Siswan for a housing project, SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab, 01/10/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Harminder Singh & Others Vs Union of India & Others dated 01/10/2020. The matter related to allegation of Omaxe Chandigarh Extension Developers Pvt. Ltd. setting up a residential complex project called ‘The Lake’ obstructing the natural flow of river Sisvan by filling up and closing a part of it in village Bharoujian and diverting it to another place nearby in village Kansala, sub tehsil Majri, district Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Mohali.

The applicant had relied upon Google image photographs showing that there was a rivulet in the year 2003 and road had been constructed without making any culvert to maintain natural flow of the river. This had resulted in potential for flooding and flooding has actually taken place.

The report by Punjab acknowledged the violations and the NGT March 3, 2020 directed that steps be taken to stop the diverssion of the river, filling up of the river and removing the illegal constructions. But a report filed by the Chief Engineer, Water Resources Department, Punjab said that there was no obstruction in the natural flow of the river near village Kansala.

This was disputed by the applicant, Harminder Singh, who said that the report does not show compliance of the orders of the NGT. Mere statement that the flow of the river was not obstructed was not adequate and was in conflict with the earlier reports referred to in the NGT order March 3, 2020, according to the applicant.

It was also pointed out that the matter had been dealt with only by the Executive Engineer of the Water Resources Department, without involvement of other concerned Departments, including Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), Housing and Urban Development Department, the Environment Department and the Irrigation Department.

The NGT directed the Chief Secretary, Punjab to call a meeting of the concerned departments - GMADA, the Housing and Urban Development Department, the Irrigation Department, and the Environment Department within one month to look into the matter and take remedial action and furnish a report after taking information from all the said departments within three months.