The Delhi high court has asked the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) to conduct a joint meeting of all civic agencies concerned on March 9 for an under-construction multilevel parking project for it and find a solution “as if the plans have to be sanctioned on a barren virgin land”.
The parking project at the Sher Shah Suri Marg opposite the high court premises had run into hurdles since work began in October 2009 due to a Mughal-era heritage structure in it the premises. Despite objections by NDMC, construction has continued in full zest.DUAC secretary Navneet Kumar confirmed, "We have received a copy of the High Court directives. But as our chairperson is out of Delhi, we cannot comment on the actual meeting."
The 15-century unnamed tomb of the Sher Shah Suri era is a notified heritage structure. It means, any project in connection with this structure needs to be referred to the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), and not to mention, the DUAC, which had rejected proposals for the parking project and an underpass joining the site and the high court premises on December 12, 2010.
In continuation of the high court’s February 14 order on the augmentation of infrastructure to meet the increase in the court’s manpower, Justice Pradip Nandrajog on February 23 had ordered for the meeting of all agencies concerned on March 9.
The February 23 order had taken cognisance of the DUAC’s reservations to the continued construction activity and had directed, “The said issue would not be deliberated upon and the issue of sanction of plans would be taken up with reference to the concerned bye-laws, rules and regulations applicable as if the plans have to be sanctioned on a barren virgin land.”
Noting that finalisation of the project required approval of seven authorities, which needed “to sit together at one time at one place and at one drawing board”, the court directed the NDMC, ASI, DDA, PWD, Central Vista Committee, Airports Authority of India and chief forest officer of Delhi to attend the meeting.