Another CWG blow to Yamuna: will they ever remove the Rs 61 crore 'temporary' bus depot?
Neha Sethi | October 19, 2010
The millennium park or the Delhi Transport Corporation’s new bus depot in Indraprastha, near the Commonwealth Games Village, is being hailed as the biggest of its kind in the world. But the depot, which has been built on the Yamuna riverbed, was supposed to be a temporary structure just for the duration of the Games.
Manoj Misra, the convener of an NGO, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, says that DTC is trying to create a case by claiming that the depot is the largest bus depot in the world. “They just want to take over the land even though the lieutenant governor (LG) of Delhi has assured us that this is a temporary structure,” he adds. Misra had written to the Delhi LG several times and had received the same response with the officer on special duty (OSD) to the LG assuring him that the depot was constructed only for temporary use during the Games.
In a letter from the LG’s office, dated May 5, 2010, Ranjan Mukherjee, OSD to the LG, wrote, "It is to confirm that the bus parking facility opposite the IP park will be a temporarily arrangement for the DTC for the duration of the CWG 2010 and there is no plan for any permanent structures. The structures are supposed to be completely removed post games."
But recent news reports, which have suggested that the DTC is planning to start commercial use of this depot, have irked activists. “The Public Works Department has said that the depot cost them Rs 61 crores. No one would spend Rs 61 crore for a temporary structure,” says Vinod Kumar Jain, founder of Tapas NGO. Jain had filed a petition in the Delhi high court in April against this depot on the riverbed.
“During the hearing of this petition in the high court last month the chief justice issued notices to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi government,” added Jain. He says that this construction is against the master plan and the zonal plan.
Jain says that when the construction was supposed to be a temporary one then why was so much concretisation allowed? “There is also a dormitory for 500 people inside the depot,” he adds.
But Mukherjee says that there is not much that the LG can do in this matter except issue instructions. “The state government has to take the call on when and how to dismantle this structure,” he adds.
While news reports suggest that DTC has plans to appoint a joint managing director to operate the depot, but an official from DTC, who didn’t want to be named maintained the stand that the depot is a temporary construction. “Either the government or the court will take a call on this issue (of dismantling the depot) now,” he added.
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