HC raps authorities over high-rise building project

Having banned axing of 16,500 trees for a residential project till further orders, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday was critical of a high-rise building project of the NBCC and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that has come up as replacement for the two-storey buildings.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said, “Redevelopment is not done on the basis of constructing building. You cannot replace two-storey buildings with eight-storey buildings,” the court said.

Master plan

The Bench said it will not allow Delhi to die at the cost of redevelopment project and warned of doing away with it if required.

The court also asked the NBCC and the DDA to submit a detailed reply and explain why it was necessary to cut trees and how did they change the Master Plan on the matter retrospectively.

The High Court remarked that the residential project spanning six south Delhi colonies would create traffic chaos near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung Hospital.

The court asked authorities to relook at the project and also to explain how they planned to tackle waste management, vehicle parking and other aspects while undertaking the project.

Contending that Delhi houses a large population of avian fauna and trees species, the Bench also sought to know whether the project will impact the environment.

Shifting of projects

Pointing out that since 1987, all courts have been insisting on de-congesting Delhi, the court asked why such projects cannot be shifted to outer Delhi.

The court listed the matter for July 26 and asked the Centre and the Delhi government to file their responses on a plea filed by orthopaedic surgeon Kaushal Kant Mishra, who challenged permission to cut trees for the residential project. The petitioner sought the setting aside of terms of reference and environmental clearances granted to the project by the Environment Ministry, saying that it would lead to felling of over 16,500 trees.

Contempt plea

The six south Delhi colonies where the trees would be felled are Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Mohammadpur and Kasturba Nagar.

The court was also hearing a contempt plea filed by environmentalist Vimlendu Jha, who alleged that there was “deliberate and wilful default” of the June 25 undertaking given to the court by the NBCC.

Redevelopment is not done on the basis of constructing building. You cannot replace two-storey buildings with eight-storey buildings

Delhi HIgh COurt

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