The high court on Tuesday questioned the Delhi government’s move to convert the temporary DTC Millennium Bus Depot on the banks of the Yamuna into a permanent arrangement.
The depot was temporarily constructed by the DTC for the Commonwealth Games. “You cannot make changes in the Master Plan after a construction. Development has to take place, but not at the cost of environment,” a bench headed by chief justice AK Sikri told the Delhi government counsel Najmi Waziri.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalists who wanted the depot to be demolished on the grounds that construction was against the master plan and zonal plan for the river. The PIL said that such concretisation will badly affect the water recharge capacity of the area and will prove harmful for the river.
Their lawyer, Jayant Bhushan, contended that the DDA had in March last year admitted that the depot was built on the riverbed which has been declared Zone O by DDA. Zone O is that area in a master plan where only green/recreational development is permitted.
The court’s remarks came when Waziri informed it of the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor's permission to the DDA on January 31 this year to change the land use from ‘recreational’ to ‘transport’. He also asked for necessary amendments in the Master Plan in this regard.
“Master Plan changes are permitted as per the needs of the city. In this case, there was no other place to park the buses and that is why it is important to make the depot permanent,” Waziri told the court.