New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) A plea seeking stay on two-day ‘Rangotsav’ festival to be held on the Yamuna floodplains in Mathura today prompted the National Green Tribunal to seek a report from the Uttar Pradesh government.

The state government is planning to organise ‘Rangotsav’ (festival of colours) on February 23 and 24 in Mathura and Barsana to commemorate the traditional ‘Latthmaar Holi’.

A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the state government, Mathura Vrindavan Develpoment Authority, National Mission for Clean Ganga, state pollution control board and Braj Pilgrimage Development Council seeking their replies by February 23.

The tribunal, however, did not issue notice to actress Hema Malini, the BJP MP from Mathura, who has been arrayed as one of the parties in the case.

The green panel directed the UP pollution control board and the Mathura Vrindavan Develpoment Authority to inspect the site on the Yamuna floodplains opposite the historic Vishram Ghat in Mathura and submit a report before February 23, the next date of hearing.

The tribunal’s direction came on a plea filed by Mathura-based organisation Shree Mathur Chaturved Parishad seeking a stay on the two-day event on the ground that construction on the riverbed was being carried out in contravention to the Ministry of Water Resources 2016 notification.

The petition said that the activity proposed on the riverbed would require construction of stage and other ancillary arrangements to host nearly 5,000 people.

“The activity requires compaction of soil of riverbed and floodplain which will have permanent impact on the area and cause irreversible and irrevocable damage to the environment.

“The proposed activity is in violation of Para 6 (3) of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016,” it said.

It alleged that the preparation of event has already started and the organiser has started felling trees without taking any permission under the law.

The plea has sought directions to restrain the authorities from carrying out any further organisation of the proposed activity on the riverbed and floodplain of Yamuna.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.