NGO writes to L-G, Kejriwal over ‘illegal construction’ in JNU
The letter, a copy of which is with HT, alleges that the university has “concealed these material facts” both from the Supreme Court-empowered committee as well as from the apex court while seeking approval to fell 113 trees for construction of multiple buildings.delhi Updated: Jul 05, 2017 00:25 IST
A Delhi-based NGO has written to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over alleged illegal constructions on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.
The letter, which has also been sent to the Delhi chief secretary, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Union environment and forest minister Harsh Vardhan and state environment minister Imran Hussain, among others, demands immediate attention and intervention by the authorities.
“The so-called premier university Jawaharlal Nehru University has carried out multiple constructions on the campus which is a protected forest without mandatory prior environmental clearance. The buildings of DELNET and AICTE have also been constructed on Protected Forest without mandatory prior environmental clearances, illegally and both have not filed any response till date,” the letter written on Tuesday by Anil Sood, president of NGO CHETNA, said.
The letter, a copy of which is with HT, alleges that the university has “concealed these material facts” both from the Supreme Court-empowered committee as well as from the apex court while seeking approval to fell 113 trees for construction of multiple buildings.
“It has also concealed this material fact from NGT while filing the status of compliance of order passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court… It is the case of fence eating the crop which it is supposed to protect,” Sood said in the letter.
A senior JNU official, however, said there was nothing illegal in any construction on the university premises. “We have already filed the reply at the National Green Tribunal. Everything done here is legal,” the official said.
The NGT had last year issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, JNU, Delhi Development Authority, the Delhi government, and others, and had asked for a response within two weeks on this alleged illegal construction on the university campus in the ecologically sensitive southern Ridge area.
The notices were sent while hearing a plea by the NGO, CHETNA, society for protection of culture, heritage, environment, traditions and promotion of national awareness, which had claimed that the university, national intelligence grid and the CRPF had illegally constructed buildings in the reserve forest area, and had failed to acquire the necessary environmental clearances. However, the plea was focused on the constructions in JNU.
The petition has alleged seven buildings on the JNU campus, including 24 type-III flats for staff at Paschimabad, sewage treatment plant in Saraswatipuram, new hostel building near Shipra hostel, Trans-Disciplinary academic building, Yamuna hostel warden flats and dining hall, are in violation of the norms and threats to the area’s ecology.