To Stop Noida Destroying Yamuna River Flood Plains & Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBP-WLS) sign now

July 3, 2009

Honble Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Prime Ministers Office,
South Block,
New Delhi 110001


Honble Shri Jairam Ramesh
Ministry of Forest & Environment,
Paryavaran Bhavan,
Scope Complex,
New Delhi.

Respected Sir:

Sub: Proposed Construction Project By NOIDA
In Yamuna River Flood Plain North of Okhla
Bird Park & Wild Life Sanctuary (A Protected
Area OBP-WLS)) between DND-Flyway
and Around Shani Mandir to the West of
Pushta (Bund) Road.

New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA), in Gautam Buddha Nagar that is located to the South-east of Delhi and on the eastern bank of Yamuna River, has proposed to implement the subject project with its location being the Flood Plains of Yamuna. It proposes to change the Land Use from Khader Land to Commercial/Institutional.

The location can be seen on the graphic, marked on a map downloaded from Google Earth, at the following link:

THIS PROJECT IS WRONG ON ALL COUNTS. It needs to be stopped in view of the following:

1. FLOOD CONTROL: The location for the proposed project to the West of Pushta Road is part of the First and primary Flood of River Yamuna. The purpose of such flood plains is to help control the floods and charge the underground Water Aquifers.

Use of this flood plain area for the purpose of constructing the Commercial and Institutional would result in excessive pressure on flood waters which would then inundate other areas both upstream and downstream. In turn, such pressures would result in avoidable floods which may result in serious loss of life and property.

Risky nature and dangerous consequences of colonization of an Active Flood Plain of a River were witnessed during the floods in the river in 1947, 1978, 1988, 1995, 1998 and most recently in 2008.

2. GROUND WATER RECHARGE: Another purpose and benefit of Flood Plains, other than flood control, is the perennial recharge of the underground water aquifers. NOIDA draws and supplies water to its residents predominantly from the drawing it from underground using Tube-Wells. In fact two huge Tube-Wells are located very near the old Pushta Road. Any concretization of the flood plain area would result in loss of underground water.

Studies have shown that concretization of one acre of flood plains of Yamuna River results in loss of water recharge to the tune of the requirement of more than one hundred people for a whole year.

3. IMPACT OF EARTHQUAKES: Most of this area of NCR falls in Seismic Zone 4. Any construction on the Flood Plains, which are nothing but deposits of sand in layers, especially the High-rising Buildings (the papers seen at NOIDA have indicated an FAR of 4 without any restrictions on the height), would have disastrous consequences in terms of loss of life and property. The global experience has shown that the so-called earthquake-proof construction really does not help at all.

4. IMPACT ON PROTECTED AREA OBP-WLS: NOIDA is perhaps the only township in the world that is blessed to have a wonderful Bird Sanctuary.

Any construction in this area would have disastrous impact on the Okhla Bird Park and Wild Life Sanctuary (OBP-WLS) situated at less than a half kilo meter to the south from DND-Flyway end of the proposed site.

Destruction of Habitat:

This construction would be an extremely serious threat to the OBP-WLS since it would destroy to a large extent the green and wooded area that is now available to the birds. This area is home to a number of birds, both resident and migratory. Some of the birds seen breeding in this very area contiguous to the OBP-WLS were Indian Golden Oriole, Barbets Coppersmith & Brown-Headed, Minivet Small and Long-tailed, Black-rumped Flameback, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Mynas Common, Bank and Brahminy, Parakeets Rose-Ringed, Plum-Headed and Alexandrine, Black Drongo, White-throated Kingfishers and large number of other passerine birds.

Loss of Breeding:

Complete cycle of Breeding of Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo) in the summer of 2007 was recorded and published in the internationally known magazine Srishti, Volume VII, Number VI, pp 32-37. This is a protected species listed in Schedule I of Wildlife Protection of Act of India. And thus, the destruction of its habitat is illegal and punishable.

It is of note to state that the species was unsuccessful in breeding in the summer of 2008 because its habitat to the east was destroyed even after it had started making nests in the general area as it did in 2007 and because of the disturbance, dust and the noise arising out of construction.

White-throated Kingfisher, Green Bee-Eaters and other birds too met with exactly a similar fate as with Indian Golden Oriole since their habitat and nesting ground would get destroyed.

Many members of Delhi Bird Group had seen and photographically recorded the breeding of a number of these species in 2007 and earlier but not in 2008.

Loss of Migratory Beacons:

The migratory birds follow Yamuna river as a beacon and then the OBP-WLS with its surrounding area for making a halt and some make a passage halt. The changed landscape would confuse the birds and prevent these from making OBP-WLS as a home for the winter months.

Noise Pollution:

Constant Noise during Construction and later when the area is occupied would adversely affected the bird life at OBP-WLS.

Light Pollution:

The Light pollution can already be felt and would be much worse post completion of the construction project. This would seriously affect the bird life at OBP-WLS. It is a very well known fact that a large number of birds migrate during night for a variety of reasons. The migration of such birds would be seriously affected because of the light pollution that has existed since the beginning of construction on the east and would continue in greater proportion post completion of this proposed Project.

5. COURT ORDERS: The Honble Supreme Courts has opined in several judgments that the Rivers have to be Rivers and maintained as such.

The Honble High Court of Delhi in December 2005 has passed an order for removal of all structures from River Yamuna and its Flood Plains. This implies that no further structures can be raised in the River and its Flood Plains.

Any action in view of these judgments would be in Contempt of the Honble Courts.

6. STAY ORDER: There exists a Stay Order from Additional Commissioner, Meerut on this land. It would be inappropriate and in contempt if any action is initiated till this order is in force.

Sir, we appeal to your good offices to ensure that Ministry of Environment and Forest MOEF takes a proactive and advance notice of this Project and ensures that the project is not in violation of EIA Notification of September 2006 by MOEF.

THE PROPOSED PROJECT NEEDS PRIOR ENVIRONMENT CLEARANCE FROM MOEF since the project falls 1. Within 10 Kilometers of a Protected Area; 2. Within 10 Kilometers of a Critically Polluted Area as declared by Central Pollution Control Board; and 3. Within 10 Kilometers of a State Boundary.

The reason we are appealing to your good offices at this juncture is the recent trend where projects are implemented and then the clearances become fate accomplii. Reference is made to the recent cases of Ganga Expressway Project, Memorial Parks in Lucknow and Noida. In each of these cases the Honble Supreme and High Courts have either passed orders or in the process of adjucating.

MOEF cannot be a mute spectator till the damage is done. MOEF needs to be proactive.

It would also not be out of place to also submit that the MOEF takes a policy decision (and issues similar directions to State Environment Committees) such that

A. Environment clearances are declined if any action whatsoever has already been taken by the Project Owners/Sponsors prior to an approval by MOEF of an Environment Impact Assessment
B. Punitive Action is initiated when such approvals are sought on a post facto basis or in the middle of the project implementation.

Should this be done and the proposed project is dropped, the Posterity would certainly bless and be grateful to your august offices for this far sightedness and good governance.

We are all Aam Aadmi.

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Goal reached !
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Latest Signatures

  • 06 September 2015100. Col Retdchanderm
    To save the flood plains.
  • 04 July 201599. Manchumi H
    I support this petition
  • 04 July 201598. Manish Gross
    I support this petition
  • 23 June 201597. Ashutosh P
    Save the Earth
  • 27 May 201596. Arun S
    Save India, Save world
  • 20 May 201595. Patsy Sanders
    To be supportive to this cause
  • 19 May 201594. Premlata Gillespie
    high time we started respecting nature
  • 15 March 201593. Joyjit G
    Strongly resent the process that has been set in motion to systematically destroy the Ecology around Yamuna River Flood Plain and OBP
  • 31 January 201592. Snigdha K
    I support this petition
  • 12 January 201591. Sudhir B
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  • 08 January 201590. Ravi Tejas
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  • 02 December 201489. Calvin R
    The future generation will have no place to see or visit if the destroying of open spaces and sancturies continue at this pace. This will also destroy the birds, animals and plant life on this earth which the future will not be able to visualize in their
  • 21 October 201488. Narendra Watts
    I support this petition
  • 22 August 201487. Pradipti Sloan
    save it
  • 19 August 201486. Nandini Nichols
    When you failed to clean the river you thought of this as an alternative
  • 03 July 201485. Gargi S
    We should think towards saving not destroying.
  • 09 June 201484. Prakash I
    I support this petition
  • 30 May 201483. Kanika P
  • 24 May 201482. Anirban P
  • 12 May 201481. Deepak M
    Study worldwide.
  • 02 April 201480. J V
    Please Stop it !!
  • 26 March 201479. Pritam K
    I support this petition
  • 14 February 201478. Manivannan P
    I completely endrose the view given in this petition
  • 08 February 201477. Sanjay A
    I support this petition
  • 27 January 201476. Arun N
    i think public should also have a say in such matters. Such natural wildlife hotbeds should be preserved
  • 24 January 201475. Ankit S
    I support this petition
  • 29 December 201374. Arun K
    keep it up

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