A Supreme Court-appointed environment committee has disapproved Public Works Department’s (PWD) proposal to widen August Kranti Marg (between Kamla Nehru crossing to Panchsheel) by covering a storm water drain. The project was undertaken to ease traffic flow on the road for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
In its latest report before SC, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) said it wasn’t satisfied with the proposal, as the drain’s coverage would have reduced its catchment area and made it inadequate to meet the anticipated discharge of water.
The CEC’s decision was based on the representations given by the Sirifort Road Residents Welfare Association that objected the move to cover the drain.
The residents feared that it would result in frequent flooding of the area.
The CEC declined to accept PWD’s proposal even as the agency claimed that even the reduced cross-section of the drain would still have a discharge capacity of 381.28 cusecs as against the existing 409.
According to the RWA’s counsel, M.L. Lahoty, the CEC was also concerned about the felling of 73 trees for the road-widening project.
After detailed consultation s with the PWD and the RWA, the committee has, however, granted permission for widening of a small stretch of 12 metres and partial coverage of 25 meters of drain near the Sirifort auditorium crossing.
A slip road towards would be constructed to facilitate easy traffic movement towards the sports complex. This would involve felling of 15 trees.
Approval has been given for the relocation of a public toilet that blocks the view of the traffic coming from the Siri Fort sports complex.
CEC’s recommendations are subsequent to the SC directions that were passed after PWD moved the special forest bench headed by the Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.