NGT challenged for objecting to EIA exemption to real estate

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) The Union Environment Ministry on Monday challenged the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stating that it does not have jurisdiction to quash its notification exempting certain construction projects from obtaining the environment clearance.

The tribunal on January 5, said that the Union environment’s notification — a subordinate legislation — shall not be adhered until further orders

The Environment Ministry on December 9, 2016 issued a notification exempting big buildings and real estate projects spanning an area of 20,000 sq. m. to 1,50,000 sq. m. from getting environment clearance.

The ministry however challenged the NGT, stating that the green court has no power there.

“We have taken the preliminary objection as the notification was a subordinate legislation issued by Environment Minister to which the NGT has no jurisdiction to quash. Now its for the tribunal to decide,” Divya Prakash Pandey, Union Environment Ministry’s counsel told IANS.

The ministry’s notification rejected by the Tribunal also replaced the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) authority from the state of centre to the local urban authorities like municipalities or development authority. The green court made the observation following the petition of an NGO Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity.