The National Green Tribunal has slammed the Delhi government over its failure to file a compliance report with regard to the Supreme Court order on changing the land use of Millennium Bus Depot site on Yamuna flood plains.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar granted the final chance to the city government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to file a detailed reply on the issue within 10 days.
“Nobody has filed complete and comprehensive affidavit in terms of the order of the tribunal dated July 24. We grant last and final opportunity to NCT Delhi, DDA and DTC to place affidavit in relation to the order passed by the Supreme Court of India vide order dated January 13 within 10 days without default.
“In the event the affidavits are not filed now, we will be compelled to pass orders for imposition of exemplary cost against each of these parties. Copy of the affidavits should be furnished in advance,” the bench also comprising Justice R S Rathore said.
The apex court, on January 13, had noted that the NGT was still to decide whether the site was located on the flood plains of the Yamuna river.
“As and when the matter gets adjudicated, and in case it is found that the site is in the flood plains, the Master Plan could be amended to permit use of the Millennium depot.
Subject to such alteration in the Master Plan, the depot shall not be used for any other purpose,” it had said.
The matter was listed for hearing on October 10.
DDA had earlier said that it has requisite powers to change the land use but the NGT had prohibited construction in areas demarcated as zone ‘O’ (river and water-body area) and the site fell in such a zone.
The matter was transferred to the green panel by the Supreme Court in April on the grounds that there cannot be “parallel proceedings” on the same issue.
The 50-acre depot was built on the river bank initially as a temporary depot during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, with a parking space for around 1,000 buses along with various facilities, including five workshop-cum-scanning centres, a logistics centre and two CNG-filling stations.
The apex court had last year said that ordering the demolition of the bus depot would not be appropriate and had granted one year to the Delhi government and DTC to get the 2021 Master Plan amended, failing which it would have to shift the bus shelter from the Yamuna river banks.
The apex court had said that the opportunity was given by the Delhi High Court to the Delhi government and DTC in October 2015 to have the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 amended, if it was permissible in law, within six months.
The high court had refused to extend the time to the authorities to shift the bus depot, located next to the Nizamuddin Bridge and behind IP Power Station.
The DTC and the Delhi government had challenged the high court decision dismissing the transporter’s plea for grant of six months to approach the DDA to change the land use of the Millennium Bus Depot site.
The high court had on October 20, 2015 shot down DTC’s plea, saying it was an abuse of the court process to seek extension of time after undertaking to shift it.
The high court had also said that it had in 2012 given six months to either shift the depot or change the land use of the site and there was “no justifiable reason” for further extension.
( Source – PTI )