The Delhi high court has asked the Centre, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chandigarh administration and the Tata Camelot Housing Colony to file their responses to a plea seeking quashing of sanction and approval granted for execution of Tata’s project in the vicinity of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh.
A division bench of chief justice G Rohini and RS Endlaw posted the matter for May 29, while asking all the parties to file their response on the issue.
Advocate Aalok Jagga had filed a petition opposing the construction by Tata Camelot Housing Colony in Kansal village near the lake, saying that according to a survey the project fell within the catchment area of Sukhna Lake and it had been declared a reserved forest area.
The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the Delhi high court in April after an objection was raised that some of the parties in the case were judges in the Punjab and Haryana HC.
The apex court had asked the Delhi high court to decide the matter by July 31. Meanwhile, there is a stay on construction at the site in accordance with an undertaking by Tata Housing.
The Rs 1,800-crore venture was proposed on 53.39 acres, which would have around 2,100 flats in 19 towers, ranging between 12 and 35 storeys near the Chandigarh Capitol Complex.
The project site is about 123 m from the Sukhna wild life sanctuary, while the Sukhna Lake is just 1,500 m away.
The PIL says that if the land and its surrounding areas were allowed to be urbanised ‘it will result in the degradation of the habitat and disturb thousands of migratory birds which come every year to the Sukhna Lake’.
“To and from vehicle movement in this ecofragile area besides causing air and noise pollution, would cause untold damage to wildlife sanctuary,” the plea said.
The petition claims that project is in violation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952 and the rules framed thereunder.
It alleged that the project coming up on the northern periphery of Chandigarh is not in conformity with the ‘vision’ of Le Corbusier, the city’s architect.
The plea said the Nagar Panchayat Naya Gaon Master Plan 2021, under which the project is permitted, ‘was tailor-made for respondent/builder’.