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Verdict reserved on Games village

delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2009 01:13 IST
Satya Prakash

The fate of 1,068 super-deluxe flats being built near Akshardham Temple for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Village hangs in balance as the Supreme Court reserving its verdict on the legality of the constructions, challenged on environmental grounds.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan reserved its verdict on Wednesday after hearing arguments from the petitioners and government bodies, that lasted about three hours.

The flats in the two towers are being constructed to house 8,000 athletes and Games officials from 71 countries.

Magasaysay Award winner Rajendra Singh, better known as “water man” and INTACH (a body working for the protection and conservation of India’s natural and cultural heritage), and some others are opposing the construction on the ground that it is on the Yamuna riverbed and would cause immense environmental damage.

The Centre, DDA, Games organising committee and some other government bodies want construction to go on. Wary that any adverse order could jeopardize the event, they were represented by Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi and senior counsel T R Andhyarujina.

They said the apex court had already cleared the construction of Akshardham Temple. “What applies to Akshardham would equally apply to Commonwealth Village,” they said.