The Supreme Court ruled out continuation of the Millennium Bus Depot and ordered the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to remove the cluster buses parked there by February 4.
A bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud, however, said Delhi Development Authority (DDA) should amend the 2021 Master Plan if the National Green Tribunal comes to the conclusion that the depot is not situated on the river bed.
“On perusal of the factual position the issue whether the DTC’s Millennium Bus Depot is located in Yamuna river bed or flood plains is pending for consideration before the NGT. As and when the matter is adjudicated the master plan should be amended or altered, if it is permissible,” the bench ordered. “Subject to such alteration the depot shall not be used for any other purpose.”
“If the NGT finds that it is river bed then it is the end of the matter, but if it is flood plain then the master plan has to be amended,” it told the counsel appearing for the parties. As per the masterplan no construction is allowed on river beds.
DTC informed the bench it had already handed over the possession of the depot to the state transport department.
SC had last year granted a year’s time to the DTC to shift the bus shelter from the Yamuna river banks after the corporation approached it against the Delhi High Court order that ruled the bus depot was to be a temporary structure during the 2010 Common Wealth Games. The HC in October 2015 asked the DTC to approach the DDA to amend the law within six months. However, in February last it refused to extend the time.
The 50-acre millennium depot was built on the river bank initially as a temporary depot during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, with a parking space for around 1,000 buses along with various facilities, including five workshop-cum-scanning centres, a logistics centre and two CNG-filling stations.
While granting time to DTC, the SC had noted demolition of the structure would not be appropriate.