Activist challenges redevelopment of South Delhi colonies in High Court

The court asked the Centre to address the issues raised Jha on the next date of hearing on January 23, 2019. 

Published: 05th December 2018 05:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2018 05:15 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The redevelopment of seven south Delhi colonies was started without considering a plan for traffic management, said an environmental activist to the Delhi High Court on Tuesday The colonies include Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Mohammadpur, Srinivaspuri and Nauroji Nagar. The traffic management plan is a pre-requisite for getting environment clearance, said environment activist Vimlendu Jha.    The submission was made before a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and AJ Bhambani, which was also told that planting of saplings in lieu of felling fully-grown trees was not a compensation for the damage caused to the environment. 

The court asked the Centre to address the issues raised Jha on the next date of hearing on January 23, 2019. The bench said it wanted to know whether there were any errors in decision making and violation of procedure as laid down in the master plan for Delhi. The court said the government would ahave to address arguments on whether a traffic plan was a pre-requisite for seeking environment clearance and if such an exercise was carried out before sanctioning the redevelopment of the seven areas.

The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), tasked with a part of the work, said the entire work will cost around Rs 32,000 crore and would be funded by the commercial hub, including a World Trade Centre, planned at Nauroji Nagar. 

Lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for Jha, told the court that trees were felled in the area in violation of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders and the project was sanctioned without following the procedure laid down in the master plan for Delhi.    (With inputs from agencies)

Centre’s contention
HC on October 3 allowed the Centre to approach authorities to seek the necessary approvals for the revised proposals regarding the re-development of six south Delhi colonies, excluding Nauroji Nagar, where construction was prohibited by an interim order.  The order came after the Centre and the NBCC had told the bench they had made several changes to ensure the number of trees to be felled and water consumption in the area were reduced

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