As the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) works overtime to complete its project at Sirifort Sports Complex to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, well-known architect Charles Correa has recommended punishing officials responsible for construction of a squash and badminton courts on forestland.
In his report to the special forest bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, former Delhi Urban Arts Commission chairman Correa said the location was already rejected two years ago and that the DDA had ample time to relocate.
He has suggested re-structuring of the eagle-shaped stadium and urged the court to order its re-location if DDA did not accept his advice.
Correa’s report in is response to an earlier court direction asking him to inspect the site. The order came on a petition by Sirifort Residents Welfare Association that challenged the ongoing construction as it led to felling of more than 800 trees at the forestland.
Requesting the court to ensure such disastrous project decision do not re-occur, Correa has said the Rs 5 crore penalty recommended by the Central Empowered Comm-ittee (CEC) is “far too little”.
“A much larger penalty needs to be imposed on the DDA and responsibility fixed on those individuals who participated in the decisions that brought about this calamity,” stated Correa’s report.
Though the architect is in favour of relocating the site, Correa said in view of the time left for the games it was desirable to alter the stadium’s structure. He has suggested changes in the “eagle-shaped” building as the present design consumes a large amount of ground area to encroach upon the greenland and claimed the underground parking lot was not required.
Referring to the DDA’s drawings, Correa said the authority required only 5.75-acre land for the construction. But the DDA has axed trees in an area of no less than 27.70 acres.
Correa has also requested the court to find ways to prevent commercial exploitation of the project after the games is over.