The DDA’s decision to change the land use of the area on which the Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) Millennium Bus Depot stands has environmentalists up in arms. The agency has decided to change the land use from ‘river and water body’ to 'transportation.'
The Millennium Depot came up in the area abutting Ring Road and NH-24 and was supposed to be a temporary structure during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. While the sporting event was over within a fortnight, the depot has remained.
The Delhi High Court on September 13, 2012 had allowed the state government to make the depot on the Yamuna bank a permanent structure provided the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 was amended within six months to alter the land use and bring it in conformity with the present use. Else, the depot would have to be relocated, it had ruled.
The DDA came up with a public notice on Wednesday, asking for suggestions and objections to the proposed modification in its zone ‘O’. It has put conditions that DTC maximise green cover in the area and utilise it only for parking buses. It should also ensure that no effluents from the area are discharged into the river.
“This public notice is illegal as the high court order had given six months’ time to amend the MPD and window got over on March 14. The DDA is a month late in starting the process for change in land use. Instead, it should now focus on relocating the bus depot,” said Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.
“The land where the depot is located is immediately next to the river and belongs to the river. The depot is used just not for parking but also for maintenance. Engine oil and other effluents will flow into the river as there is no other outlet,” he said.
Misra said that on one hand, the government is spending thousands of crores to clean the river and on the other hand creating a polluting structure. “The area, which served as a recharge zone for the river, has been concretised by the depot,” he said.