Orissa HC stays NGT order to stop construction activities of SUM Hospital’s 2nd campus

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has stayed the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order to stop construction activities of the second campus of IMS & SUM Hospital at Phulnakhara in Cuttack district.

“As an interim measure, the impugned order dated 12.12.2022 passed by National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata is hereby stayed till the next date”, the single bench of High Court Justice Dr. S.K.Panigrahi ordered on Monday.

There is no squabble that the GA Department is custodian of the land in question and must comply with all legal formalities, while allotting lands. However, such a position now stands changed with the grant of the environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, for the project in question after the requisite legal due diligence, the HC observed.

The Kolkata-based NGT Eastern Zone Bench had issued a stay order on the construction activities on the ground on December 12, 2022 that forced the IMS & SUM Hospital to move the Orissa High Court.

The allegations with regard to the Kisam i.e. nature of land being ex facie flimsy in nature; coupled with the fact that the environmental clearance has now been granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, said the bench.

According to the bench, the NGT stayed the construction activity over the land in question.

The order was passed ex parte without giving an opportunity of hearing to the present petitioner. Even the clarification related to the issue of “fencing does not construe to be construction activities” was not shown to the Tribunal by the applicant.

The petition moved by Pratap Chandra Mohanty with the NGT had alleged that the IMS & SUM Hospital is constructing its second campus over Nayanjori land through which storm water is discharged, which could not have been allotted by the General Administration Department, Government of Odisha.

It is also submitted that the land which is a water body must be preserved as a water body and cannot be converted for any use other than water body in view of the judgment of Supreme Court.