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Maintain status quo on redevelopment of colonies: Delhi HC to NBCC

Urban planner Gautam Bhan informed the court on August 16 that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report submitted by the Centre for getting the environmental clearance was plagiarised.

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2018 11:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Delhi High Court,NBCC,Housing colonies
The move to chop 16,500 trees for the redevelopment of seven colonies had created massive uproar among Delhi residents. (HT File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday maintained the status quo on construction at the seven colonies being redeveloped by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) India Limited even as it granted two weeks to the Centre to revisit the approval plan for six colonies, excluding Nauroji Nagar.

A bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao refused to allow the application moved by NBCC seeking permission to continue with its work in Nauroji Nagar.

“Status quo be maintained till you reconsider the clearances granted to the work at the six colonies,” the bench said and directed the Centre to submit a report in two weeks about the outcome of the reconsideration.

The court’s direction comes after urban planner Gautam Bhan, who is an amicus curiae in the case, informed the court on August 16 that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report submitted by the Centre for getting the environmental clearance was plagiarised and its contents were “copy-pasted” from another project report of Tamil Nadu.

In the 57-page report submitted by Bhan at the last hearing, he had said a joint EIA should have been given for obtaining the clearance as it is an integrated project. It said it would consider the issue of Nauroji Nagar only after the Centre informs it about the reworked approval plan for the other six colonies.

“You can try to justify your action (construction) in Nauroji Nagar, but that will be reconsidered only when you get us the reworked plans for the other six projects,” the bench said.

The bench has been hearing a bunch of PILs challenging the move to chop 16,500 trees in Delhi for the redevelopment of seven south Delhi colonies.

The bench clarified that it will not hear the matter in a “piecemeal” manner and will look into how the clearances were granted for the redevelopment work.

During the hearing on Thursday, the bench was informed by counsel for the petitioners that construction was going on at “full speed” in Nauroji Nagar despite the court’s order on August 16 that no work should be carried.

The bench then reiterated its directive to cease all other work. The matter would be now heard on October 3.

Meanwhile, after Noida residents approached the National Green Tribunal against the dumping of waste in Mubarakpur village near Sector 145, the court on Thursday allowed dumping till a more permanent solution can be sought. Earlier, the NGT had directed Noida authority to stop dumping waste in Sector 54, following which protests erupted at two other spots that the authority had identified for waste disposal

First Published: Aug 31, 2018 02:45 IST