NH 66 widening: Petitioners given time to file objections

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has permitted the counsel of the petitioners to file their objections, if any, to the panel report by February 17.

The petitioners had stated before the National Green Tribunal that the proponents of the Edappally-Ramanattukara national highway stretch widening would not be able to proceed with the work without conducting proper environment impact assessment as it came under the ‘Category A’ of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006.

They had cited similar cases before the Principal Bench of the tribunal and the Madras High Court to point out that the authorities were trying to widen the road without getting prior environmental clearance. The petitioners had requested the tribunal to issue a directive that environment clearance is a pre-requisite for the construction/development/widening of the National Highway-66 from Ramanattukara to Edappally.

They had also urged the Southern Bench to restrain the authorities from carrying out any action related to the construction/development/widening of the National Highway-66 from Ramanattukara to Edappally without obtaining the clearance. In its order issued on November 11 last year, the tribunal had pointed out that there was a substantial question of environment which required its interference. The question involves as to whether environmental clearance is required for widening the national highway even though they are carrying out the expansion work in piecemeal, it said.

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