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NGT prohibits construction of housing complex near Delhi University

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Applying the “Precautionary Principle” of environmental law, the NGT on January 8 had directed Young Builders (P) Ltd in north Delhi that no construction activity should be carried out.

 Days after the Supreme Court set aside the National Green Tribunal order of status quo on construction of a housing complex adjacent to the Delhi University campus, the green panel has once again restrained the real estate developer from any activity. Applying the “Precautionary Principle” of environmental law, the NGT on January 8 had directed Young Builders (P) Ltd in north Delhi that no construction activity should be carried out. 

The builder then challenged the order in the apex court, which set aside the order and asked the tribunal to expeditiously decide the matter. 

When the matter came up for hearing on February 3, the project proponent sought an adjournment. 

However, advocates Sanjay Upadhyay and Salik Shafique, appearing for the petitioner Delhi University, opposed the adjournment on the grounds that in the absence of a stay, the project proponent may proceed with the project which will amount to an abuse of adjournment. 

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel noted the submission of the counsel for the applicant that the Environment Ministry had made an incorrect statement that a detailed counter affidavit had been filed in response to the averments contained in the appeal and the documents in support thereof, while no such counter affidavit has been filed in the appeal. 

“Accordingly, while accepting prayer for adjournment, we direct that the project proponent may not proceed with any further activity till further consideration of the matter by this tribunal”, the bench said while posting the matter for hearing on February 10. 

The tribunal had passed the order on a plea by Delhi University challenging the environmental clearance granted to a housing project by Young Builders (P) Ltd in north Delhi. 

The plea challenged the order of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority granting Environmental Clearance (EC) for the housing complex located at 1 and 3 Cavalry Lane and 4 Chhatra Marg at Civil Lines here. 

It said EC could be granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and not by SEIAA as the project is within 10 km from a critically polluted area, notified by CPCB. 

“Najafgarh, Naraina, Wazirpur and Anand Parbat are critically polluted areas. The project is in Silence Zone being within 100 m from Delhi University and Patel Chest Institute. The area is in water scarcity zone. The sulphate content of groundwater is above the specified limit. 

“As per the project proponent’s own report, the project is susceptible to subsidence and liquefaction during major earthquake. Geo-Technical investigation needs to be carried out which has not been done. Traffic plans/congestion filed by the project proponent with the application is based on the statistics of July 2011,” the plea said.

Source: PTI

(Note: The story has been published from a wire without modifications to the text. )

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