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West Bengal: DMF welcomes landmark judgement to save east Kolkata wetlands October 12,2018   |  Source: Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum (DMF)

In a landmark order, the east zone bench of National Green Tribunal gave Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) and Vaidic Dharma Sansthan 30 days to remove encroachments in the East Kolkata Wetlands or face a penalty of Rs 50 lakh each with further fine of Rs 50,000 per day for any delay in implementing the order.

The court also warned that it was reserving the right to pass appropriate orders on officials responsible for noncompliance as per provisions of the law. NGT had a year ago passed an order for removal of a road that was built around MunshirBheri in Salt Lake Sector V by NDITA as well as the three-storied, 60-ft tall building named Temple of Knowledge by Vaidic Dharma Sansthan, an organisation affiliated to spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Environmental action group PUBLIC had filed a petition in 2016 on the blatant violations in East Kolkata Wetlands, an internationally recognised Ramsar site that enjoys protection under a 1992 Calcutta high court order as well as multiple legislations. PUBLIC had pointed out that neither the private organisation, nor the government body, had sought permission from East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA) for construction. According to PUBLIC, both of them had violated the East Kolkata Wetlands Act,

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