Process plea for green nod to hospital: HC
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday pulled up the city government for not processing the forest clearance required for finishing the construction of a 100-bed hospital in Najafgarh despite repeated reminders by the Centre, noting that the “lethargic approach” of the Delhi government is the misfortune of the public .
A bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice Jyoti Singh said that the city government should do something and “not sit tight” over processing the Centre’s request seeking permission for the transplantation of the trees.
“It is the misfortune of the public at large that a 100-bed hospital could not be completed because of the lethargic approach on part of the Delhi government. Union of India is writing letter after letter and no reply is given by the Delhi government. No counter has been filed (by Delhi government),” said the bench.
“Do something so that the construction is over. You can say no also but don’t sit tight. You decide as per law,” the bench said.
The bench granted time to the Delhi government and asked them to point out the “least possible time” within which the permission/sanction can be granted.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by Rajesh Kaushik, a lawyer, seeking a direction to the two governments to complete the establishment of the hospital at the site of Rural Health Training Centre in Najafgarh in south west Delhi.
The petition, filed through lawyer Sameer Chandra, said that the structure of the building was already completed, and that it was “utmost essential for the public at large” that the hospital starts running before the onset of the third wave of Covid-19.
The plea had said there are no good hospitals in the area and that the establishment of the 100-bed facility will help “15 lakh people spread over 73 villages in the radius of 10 km”.
On Wednesday, the central government standing counsel advocate Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for the union government, informed the court that the project was 80% complete and is awaiting clearance from the forest department of the Delhi government in December 2018 as the site required a sanction for “transplantation of trees”.
In an affidavit, the Union government said only the peripheral part of the facility remains to be finished, adding that the hospital can be completed by the year end subject to permission from the Delhi government.
The Delhi government counsel sought time from the court to file its reply, following which the court posted the matter for hearing on November 8.