HC dashes govt claims on Millennium bus depot

Green activists had filed a petition demanding the demolition of the depot on Yamuna river bed

neha

Neha Sethi | January 21, 2011


Embankment being created at the depot
Embankment being created at the depot

The Delhi high court on Friday said the Delhi government cannot claim special equity right over the Delhi transport corporation (DTC) bus depot in the Yamuna floodplain. An order passed by a division bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna said, “Any construction being carried out shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition. The defiant shall not claim any special equity right over the same.”

The controversial bus depot, also known as the Millennium bus depot, has been opposed by green activists for long since it first came up as a temporary structure for the duration of the Commonwealth Games. Despite the lieutenant governor (LG) of Delhi’s assurances, of it being temporary structure, to civil society groups, the government refused to dismantle the depot.

Vinod Kumar Jain of Tapas NGO filed a writ petition in April 2010 demanding that the bus depot be demolished as it was on the Yamuna flood plain. The petition says that the construction is against the master plan and the zonal plan. “The petitioner has in the present writ petition highlighted the arbitrary action of the Delhi government in proceeding to encroach upon the river flood plain and riverfront in utter disregard to the zonal development plan (2021) of the DDA,” the petition states.

“Now what they are trying to do is that they are constructing an embankment which is channelising the river,” Jain said. He added that the embankment is a matter of concern as once the embankment gets made then the defiant (the Delhi government) can claim that the area beyond the embankment is no more a flood plain. “This is based on a judgement given by the supreme court in a case involving the Commonwealth Games village,” Jain added.

The Delhi government “is further indulging in perpetuating their violations and are in the process of destroying the river flood plain/riverfront by constructing an embankment along the flood plain where the bus depot has been constructed,” the petition says. It further says that the natural flow of the river channel is being diverted and the repercussion of this has not been studied by an environment impact assessment.

The next date of hearing in the case is on 9th March 2011.

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