The court also impleaded the Delhi government’s PWD, irrigation department, and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
New Delhi:The Delhi high court on Thursday asked the Centre to give details of its deliberations before grant of environment clearance (EC) for the redevelopment of seven south Delhi colonies at the cost of more than 16,500 trees.
Calling for records related to grant of EC, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar directed authorities executing the project to ensure that there is no change in traffic and unit density of the areas in question till further orders.
The court asked for the “considerations and deliberations” carried out by the environment ministry before grant of EC, after an expert on development and environment said the clearance for the project area of over 600 acres was given in one sitting.
The court had on the last date asked for the opinion of the expert, Gautam Mann, with regard to the project and its impact on the environment. He said the entire clearance needed a re-look on the basis of the precautionary principle.
The bench further termed as “worrying” the DDA’s move to increase floor area ratio on the basis of increasing population density without applying its mind to the services that would need to be provided.
The court said as a result of the project, there would be a huge impact on traffic density, air pollution, impact on public health and transportation.
The National Buildings’ Construction Corporation (NBCC), which is executing the work along with the Central Public Works department (CPWD), said the project was sanctioned by the Union Cabinet that has considered the masterplan of Delhi before giving a go-ahead to the redevelopment work.
To this, the bench said that “if you are talking of master plan, then it is high time we have a green master plan for Delhi” and added that “we cannot compromise on environment no matter the cost”.
The court also impleaded the Delhi government’s PWD, irrigation department, and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). It asked them to give details, like date of construction, specifications and the population they were to cater to, of the roads and storm water drains in the project areas.