EIA Required for Large Metro Rail Projects
‘The expression ‘and’ used in Entry 8(b) would have to be read as disjunctive between ‘Township’ and ‘Area Development Projects’. They cannot be read as synonyms. Development projects could be de hors of a township while township may take in its ambit a development project in general. In the present case, the project includes use of land for construction of stations, traction sub-stations, receiving stations, land for radio towers, for depot and for running station section. The total land required, as already noticed, is 2,84,762.01 sq. mtrs. and the construction to be raised upon this land is much above the threshold limit of 1,50,000 sq. mtrs ... The construction details clearly demonstrate huge construction and large scale requirement of land, which is definitely beyond the threshold limits specified under the Notification.’
In final, the Tribunal issued following directions in the judgement on 31 May 2016.
‘1. We hold and declare that the project in question, that is, the Metro Construction from Noida to Greater Noida is a project covered under Entry 8(b) of the Schedule to the Notification of 2006.
2. We direct the respondent no.1 (Noida Metro Rail Corporation), the project proponent to obtain Environmental Clearance for the project in question as expeditiously as possible and in any case not beyond three months from the date of pronouncement of this judgment. The application in Form 1A shall be submitted within one week from today to SEIAA, Uttar Pradesh. It shall dispose of the application as Category B-1 project as expeditiously as possible, and in any case, not later than the period afore-stated.
3. SEIAA shall impose conditions, both in regard to the remedial measures as well as for completion of the project in terms of the Notification of 2006 and protection of the environment and ecology in that area.
4. We make it clear that if the work already executed by the project proponent has caused any irretrievable loss to environment, ecology and nature, the SEIAA would be well within its rights even to direct demolition of such constructed portion.
5. The order granting Environmental Clearance shall be specific in regard to the remedial as well as precautionary measures that are required to be taken by the project proponent.
6. In the event the project proponent does not comply with the directions issued under the Environmental Clearance, the project work shall be liable to be stopped forthwith.
In nutshell, the Tribunal accepted that Metro Rail projects with threshold value of ‘Covering an area ≥50 ha and or built up area ≥ 1,50,000 sq mtrs’ would be
considered as ‘Area Development Projects under Section 8 B of the Schedule of EIA Notification 2006 and appraised as category B1 project i.e. it has to go through the
EIA process, e.g. prepare EIA & EMP and get EC.
(Judgement can be seen at :
EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERC)
New Delhi. India