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NGT forms committee to monitor compliance of conditions by ISKCON in temple construction

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 21, 2019  | 16:03 IST

New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has formed a committee to monitor compliance of conditions in the environment and forest clearances by ISKCON in Mathura where the organisation is building a 70-storey temple. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a joint committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to avoid passing of responsibilities. "The CPCB will be the nodal agency for compliance and coordination of the joint committee so as to cover all aspects required to be dealt with in the matter. A copy of this order be sent each to the MoEF, CPCB and the CGWA by e-mail. Let a further report be submitted by the CPCB within a month by e-mail," the bench said. The green panel passed the order after the CPCB told it that monitoring of condition of bio-diversity park is to be enforced by the MoEF and the issue of ground water is to be monitored by the CGWA. Neither the CGWA nor the MoEF have taken action, the NGT noted. The tribunal also noted that nobody has appeared on behalf of the project proponent. It directed that a copy of the report be also furnished to the project proponent by the CPCB through an e-mail so that if it has any objection to raise, the same may be raised before August 2, the next date of hearing. The green body had earlier directed the CPCB to submit a report on setting up of a bio-diversity park by ISKCON in Mathura. It had asked the apex pollution monitoring body to furnish a report on whether conditions stipulated in the environment and forest clearances were being adhered to or not by the trust which was directed by the green body to build the park . The tribunal had, on July 31, given a green signal to the construction of the 70-storey temple but directed the trust managing construction of 'Sri Vrindavan Chandra Mandir', as part of its social responsibility, to undertake development of at least one bio-diversity park on the land parcel over and above the area which has been earmarked for the project. It had also directed the MoEF to develop an institutional mechanism for monitoring the conditions as stipulated in environment and forest clearances. The order had come on a plea filed by local resident Manikesh Chaturvedi alleging that construction of 'Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir' by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in the vicinity of Yamuna would harm the environment. When completed, 'Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir' will be the tallest religious monument in the world, it is claimed. To be built at a cost of Rs 300 crore, it will be one of the most expensively built temples in the world by ISKCON Bangalore. The temple will rise to a height of about 700 ft, with a built-up area of 5,40,000 sq. ft, according to the petitioner. A look-alike of the verdant forests of Vrindavan is planned to be recreated around this magnificent temple. It will be spread over a sprawling 26 acres. It will consist of the twelve forests of Braj, with varieties of lush vegetation, lakes with lotuses and water falls. The project is set in 62 acres of land and will include parking in 12 acres and a helipad. PTI PKS PKS SNE SNE

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