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Rabindra Sarovar to be examined by National Green Tribunal

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The National Green Tribunal on Thursday formed a five-member expert group to inspect the Indian Super League (ISL) football venue Rabindra Sarovar Stadium following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that pleaded that night matches should not be organised without proper environmental monitoring.

The panel, headed by A.K. Sanyal, will visit the venue within the next seven days to ascertain the impact the holding of night matches might have on the environmental health and eco-diversity of the Rabindra Sarobar Lake which is part of the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-system (NPCA).

They will also delve into the steps that are needed to be taken to guard against any environmental degradation in the vicinity, said environmental activist Subhas Datta who had filed a PIL last Friday.

The team would file its report within the next 10 days. The matter has again been listed for hearing in the Eastern Bench of the NGT on September 27.

The petitioner had made the West Bengal government, the Kolkata Improvement Trust, the Union Environment Ministry, as also the Football Sports Development - that operates the ISL - respondents to the petition.

The Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt Ltd - a consortium established to oversee the administration and operations of ISL franchisee Atletico de Kolkata - and the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, were also made respondents.

The PIL pleaded with the tribunal to direct the respondents not to hold or allow holding of ISL matches in Rabindra Sarovar Lake Stadium during night hours "without undergoing environmental monitoring".

The petitioner said holding of such a mega event under floodlights may harm the environment, flora and fauna of the entire area.

The petition said due to the mega event, several thousand motor vehicles would be parked, loud public address systems operated and possible use of fireworks would cause "environmental hazards".