The National Green Tribunal has sought the Uttar Pradesh government's response on a plea alleging a loss of green cover in Mathura's Jawahar Bagh, where clashes between encroachers and security personnel left 29 people, including two policemen, dead last month.
A bench headed by Justice MS Nambiar issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Secretary at Horticulture Department, District Magistrate and others while seeking their reply by 27 July.
The order came while hearing a plea by NGO Tree Protection Team seeking constitution of a committee of experts for evaluation of ecological loss and damage caused at Jawahar Bagh.
The plea, filed through advocate Siddhartha Singh, sought stringent action against erring officials responsible for causing loss of the green cover and air pollution in Jawahar Bagh, which was rocked by violence on 2 June.
It also sought directions to halt the state government's plan to turn some of the 270-acre land into an amusement park with all the civic amenities for the residents in Mathura.
The petition has also alleged that besides damage to the environment in Jawahar Bagh, illegal extraction of ground water by encroachers on very large scale has caused serious damage to the ecosystem as the encroachers had installed submersible pumps to extract water which was stored in a makeshift tank.
"The State Horticulture Department that owns the 260 acre Bagh but never acted against the encroachers i.e. but chose to ignore damage to the ecology; resulted to massive loss to environment.
"That numbers of complaint were lodged with authorities regarding encroachments and damage to the trees and ecology of the Jawahar Bagh but no action was taken to protect the trees in Jawahar Bagh in this regard," the plea alleged.
Massive clashes broke out in Mathura on 2 June when police were trying to evict illegal occupants, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, from Jawahar Bagh on the Allahabad High Court orders.