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Cabinet approves, DUAC objects

News of financial approval for the Delhi Metro’s phase 3 by the Delhi government has prompted the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) to register its objection with the DMRC for the latter not following the statutory procedure. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: May 01, 2011 23:37 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

News of financial approval for the Delhi Metro’s phase 3 by the Delhi government has prompted the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) to register its objection with the DMRC for the latter not following the statutory procedure.

In April, the Delhi cabinet had given its nod to the Metro’s proposal for phase 3.

While the state government has already earmarked R1,071crore for phase 3, the Centre has made provision for R580 crore in Budget 2011-12.

DUAC is a regulatory body for maintaining urban aesthetics, in view of the many heritage monuments in the city. As per established procedure, the financial sanction for a project is accorded only after it has received all mandatory clearances, including DUAC nod.

Sources said the DUAC was planning a public workshop on Metro phase III, considering that the alignment has both the underground segment (running through the heritage corridor) and elevated stretches (that could have a direct bearing on urban aesthetics).

One of the lines of phase 3, joining Central Secretariat to Kashmiri Gate via Mandi House, ITO, Delhi Gate and Red Fort, passes through a heritage corridor with over 24 monuments.

There are 67 stations proposed under the third phase and around 41 km of the line would be underground, while the remaining 67 km is planned as elevated. “But it (the public workshop) can’t be held till the DMRC gives documents to us,” the sources added.

The DUAC’s annual report for the year 2009-10, presented in Parliament, had also pointed out violations. In its chapter on ‘Transport Proposals’, the DUAC is critical of sanctions for Metro proposals, brought to it after more than half the construction was over.

The report said, “It is unfortunate that the aforesaid DMRC proposals (constructed without the statutory clearances) were accorded financial sanction. Such practice needs to be checked to discourage project proponents from violating the established statutory provisions laid down for approval of projects.”

The report further pointed out, “It has been observed that the DMRC has been constantly violating the DUAC Act, which, as per the law of the land, is a mandatory requirement for all agencies, including Delhi Metro.”

KT Ravindran, DUAC chairperson, agreed that the commission wrote to the Delhi Metro last week, following media reports. “The law says that before financial clearance is given to any project, all statutory clearances are required,” Ravindran said.

DMRC confirmed the receipt of the letter. Its spokesperson said, “We don’t need their (DUAC’s) approval for it.”