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Allahabad HC directs status quo for 20 days in notice issued to Yamuna Hindon floodplain constructions

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The Allahabad High Court has directed the parties to maintain status quo for 20 days in respect of farm houses falling in the floodplain area of Yamuna Hindon river in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Noida and constructions there.

The Division Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Sameer Jain passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Harit Kisan Kalyan Samiti.

The petitioner is a registered Society and has filed the petition espousing the cause of its members. The list of members of the petitioner-Society is given in the supplementary affidavit. According to the said list there are 53 members in the petitioner-Society.

The petitioner has assailed a public notice dated 8.6.2022 issued by the respondent no1 i.e New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (in short, ‘Noida’) stating that in the notified area, falling under its jurisdiction, no construction activity is permissible without its approval.

Recently, a number of illegal constructions have been raised in the development area which is a floodplain zone of river Ganga/Hindon and that too without getting any building plan sanctioned. It has been clearly mentioned in the notice that all constructions in the notified area/floodplain zone are illegal and should be removed forthwith, failing which, it would be demolished by the respondent-authority.

Vijay Singh, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that most of the constructions raised by members of the petitioner-society dates back to 2010 and that no impact assessment as provided under the second proviso to paragraph-6(3) of the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016 has been undertaken so far. Straightaway, the respondent authority has issued the impugned public notice and is now threatening to demolish constructions.

It is further submitted that the members of the petitioner-society have not been served with any individual notice and merely on basis of impugned public notice, the Noida Authority is threatening to demolish the constructions.

On the other hand, Manish Goyal, Additional Advocate General, invited attention towards various proceedings and reports submitted before the National Green Tribunal by Yamuna Monitoring Committee and tried to contend that the Noida Authority while issuing public notice has acted strictly in accordance with law.

“On a query made by the Court as to whether there is in existence any individual demolition orders against members of the petitioner society or other persons who are getting affected by the impugned public notice, he admits that there is no individual order in existence.

He tried to contend that it is difficult for the authority to identify the actual owner/occupier of the plot/land over which such constructions have been raised, therefore, individual notice/order has not been issued so far. He, however, states that in case, the petitioner-society and its members file objection in pursuance of impugned public notice, treating it to be a show cause notice, the Noida Authority will decide the same and will not take any action, till the disposal of the objection,” the Court noted.

“We are of the opinion that the aforesaid course, if adopted, will sub-serve the ends of justice. We, accordingly, permit the petitioner-society and its members to file objection within 10 days in pursuance of the impugned public notice, as also agreed to by the counsel for the petitioner, and in which event, the same shall be decided by respondents by means of a speaking order. For a period of 20 days, the status quo as of date shall be maintained by all the parties.

In case, the petitioner and its members fail to file an objection within 10 days from today, it shall be open to the respondent authority to proceed further in pursuance of the impugned public notice,” the order reads.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the petition.

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