SC Orders TTZ Authority Chairman to Appear Before it on July 26, Explain Expansion Plans
30 Jul 2018
A bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta issued a notice to Rao, who is also the commissioner of Agra division, to explain why its orders in this regard were not complied with.
Supreme Court has directed Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) authority chairman K Ram Mohan Rao to personally appear before it on July 26 to explain the proposal to expand industries in Agra when there is an “ad hoc moratorium” on it.
A bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta issued a notice to Rao, who is also the commissioner of Agra division, to explain why its orders in this regard were not complied with. The bench was responding to a plea seeking contempt action against TTZ officials for allegedly setting up new industries and granting permission for expansion in the area.
The TTZ authority looks after an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.
Concerned about the Taj, the SC bench ordered the industry body to “shut down” all industries. The judges wondered how anyone could apply for expansion of industries when they were not entitled to do it. It has asked the TTZ to furnish details, including names of industries that have applied for expansion or reopening. Also, the names of industries, whose proposal are under consideration of approvals and those which have been granted permission till June 2018.
Chairman of TTZ authority Rao said as per the decision taken by ministry of environment and forest on September 8, 2016, there is an “ad hoc moratorium” on establishing new industry and expansion of old industries. The TTZ has not granted permission for setting up new industry or expansion of old existing industry. He clarified that a few existing industries in Firozabad demanded supply for “gas” according to their coal-based capacity, which did not amount to expansion. He said, he will put forth this clarification before the court.
Expressing resentment with the TTZ authorities, office-bearers of National Chamber of Industries and Commerce, Agra, said due to the chairman’s decision for granting permission for expansion of industries, the Supreme Court had directed that factories operating here should be shut down.