The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday set aside an Environmental Clearance given to a private realty developer and restricted it from constructing a high-rise building near Delhi University’s North Campus.
The NGT bench headed by Justice (retd) Adarsh Kumar Goel was dealing with an appeal moved by the Delhi University against the construction of the more than 40-floor housing project by the Young Builders’ group next to the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station and in close proximity to the North Campus, flouting environmental norms among others.
“In view of our conclusion that environmental clearance has been granted without proper evaluation, the project cannot be allowed without such proper evaluation about its sustainability or otherwise in the light of available data, a case is made for interference by this Tribunal,” said the order.
It further said existing air and noise levels do not permit any further additive load in the area, particularly a high-rise building having adverse impacts on the environment, including potential for fire incidents, adverse impact on microclimate due to wind funneling and turbulence around their bases, generation of particulate matter because of heavy machinery and equipment and waste management.
There will be an unmanageable impact on traffic density and adverse impact on flora and fauna and groundwater regime of nearby pristine Ridge, the bench noted.The bench also said it conclude that the EC granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the construction is ‘without application of mind’.
“We may also note at this stage that the precarious condition of air and water pollution in Delhi has drawn the attention of various institutions like Niti Aayog which has projected a dismal picture,” the order stated.
As per the order, the land in question belonged to the Ministry of Defence.
For the purpose of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, a parcel of land, admeasuring 3.05 hectares, situated at Mall Road, Cavalry Lane, and Chhatra Marg, was acquired and handed over to DMRC.
However, in 2008, the DMRC transferred two hectares of land to the builder for the development of a group housing project. An agreement between DMRC and the developer was executed on December 15, 2008.