NGT orders stay on Kanchanjunga Square construction till hearing in March

Summit Report

Gangtok, 18 Jan:

The National Green Tribunal today ordered a stay, for now till 02 March, 2022, on the 14-storied mall and car park project coming up at the Old West Point School complex here.

The NGT order came in response to a petition filed by Dr Bina Basnet of Hamro Sikkim Party which was taken up for hearing at the Kolkata [Eastern Zone Bench] by Justice B Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and Justice Saibal Dasgupta (Expert Member), the order uploaded on the NGT website informs.

Dr Basnet has argued that a 14-storied construction was not only in contravention of State Government rules on how high construction can go in Sikkim, but also ill-advised in an earthquake prone zone.

She has also contended that the project posed "a grave threat to the fragile ecology of the area and also to the life and limb of the people residing in the area."

The NGT order puts on record: "In our opinion, matter requires consideration. "

Accordingly, directions were given today to issued notice to the respondents, State of Sikkim and Others, returnable within four weeks.

Listing the case for its next hearing on 02 March, 2022, the order also directs "a stay on construction in the area with reference to the multilevel car parking-cum-Shopping Hub in the area in question."

As per the order, the area in question is: "Multilevel Car Parking cum Shopping Hub (STNM-Kanchanjunga square below NH) at Old West Point School Area near Hotel Hungry Jack Gangtok.