Forest land allotted for Delhi Skill University without Centre's approval: SC panel

Forest land measuring 37.11 acres in Jaunapur earmarked for constructing the proposed skill centre and Delhi Skill University, has been shown as "residential".

Published: 25th August 2022 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2022 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo | EPS)


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has said the city government's Panchayat Department has allotted forest land for the construction of a world-class skill centre and Delhi Skill University in Jaunapur in south Delhi without prior approval from the central government.

According to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, prior permission of the central government is required for de-reservation or diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes.

The CEC said it had written to the Delhi chief secretary in July last year seeking clarification on the matter and that the city government was yet to provide a reply "despite repeated reminders".

It said the forest land measuring 37.11 acres in Jaunapur, since transferred to the Department of Training and Technical Education, for constructing the proposed skill centre and Delhi Skill University, has been shown as "residential" in the records of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

"The forest land has been allotted for non-forest use by the Director, Panchayat, Government of NCT Delhi, without the prior approval of the central government in violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and various orders of the Supreme Court," it said in a communication, dated August 22, to the Delhi chief secretary. The Delhi forest department has also told the CEC that the land in question is "forest land".

"In the meeting, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Delhi government, re-confirmed that the 37.11 acres of land in Jaunapur allotted for the construction of the world class skill centre and Delhi Skill University is part of the notification issued in 1996 under Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927," the communication read.

The CEC has asked the PCCF to ensure that the land use of the forest land in respect of the notified areas be changed to "forest" in all government records, including those of DDA and the Revenue Department.

It also asked the PCCF to direct the departments concerned to not allot any forest land for non-forestry purposes without the prior approval of the central government and the Supreme Court.

In December 2019, the Delhi government approved the Education Department's proposal for setting up a world-class skill centre in Jaunapur village at an estimated cost of around Rs 254 crore.

The Jaunapur centre will have 500 seats each in the departments of hospitality and tourism, retail merchandising, IT and IT-enabled services, accounts, banking and finance, food processing, logistics, electronics, production and manufacturing, automobile, and health and wellness.

At present, seven such centres are functioning in Vivek Vihar, Pusa, Dwarka, Pushp Vihar, Jhandewalan, Wazirpur and Rajokri.


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