Allahabad High Court stalls Ganga Expressway project

Allahabad High Court stalls Ganga Expressway projectAllahabad, May 30 : The Allahabad High Court has barred the Uttar Pradesh Government from proceeding ahead on the ambitious eight-laned Ganga Expressway project and directed the concerned authorities to obtain prior clearance from environmental board.

A bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhusan and Justice Arun Tandon on Friday passed this order on the petition filed by two voluntary organisations, which questioned the environmental feasibility of the project.

The Court has stayed further work on over 1000 kilometres long project that would connect the eastern and western boundaries of Uttar Pradesh because of environmental concerns.

"The Allahabad High Court has restrained the proceedings of The Ganga-Express way, the 1100 kilometre long expressway from Noida to Ballia because of environmental issues. The project was started by the Mayawati government," said Arun Kumar Gupta, counsel for petitioners.

Further he informed that court has also asked the state government to obtain clearance from the state-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority. "The High Court has also quashed the earlier environmental clearance granted by the Environmental Protection Authority. The court also directed UP government not to proceed with the highway project unless and until it obtains a due clearance from the state-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA)," Gupta added.

Meanwhile, the petitioners welcomed the court verdict.

"The condition of pollution in Uttar Pradesh is already alarming. So how anyone can grant permission for 32 new cities and eight new SEZ (Special Economic Zones)? Taking into consideration all these, the Ganga Mahasabha had filed a petition in the High Court. We are extremely happy that the court has come up with a 93 page order. This is the victory of devotees of River Ganga," said Jitendranand Swami, a petitioner. (ANI)