[mpisgmedia] IT Park on riverbed Notice issued by Delhi High Court

Notice to respondents to file reply in two weeks was
issued on 13/04/2005 by Delhi High Court (Justice
Ravinder Bhatt) in WP (C) 6550/2005 (Gita Dewan Verma
v/s Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd & Ors, through
Advocate KP Gopalkrishan).

The synopsis of the matter is as follows: The
Respondent No.1 (DMRC) is carrying out, with active
and tacit support of Respondents nos.2 (GNCTD), 3
(MoUD) and 4 (DDA), the construction of an Information
Technology Park at Shastri Park, Delhi on the Yamuna
Riverbed without complying with the mandatory
statutory requirements contained in the provisions of
the Delhi Development Act 1957 ("the Act"),
particularly section 11A thereof. The nature of the
said construction activities is de hors the Act.
Further, the objections submitted by the Petitioner in
response to the Public Notices dated 16/12/2002,
16/04/2004 and 18/09/2004 issued by the respondent
No.4 under section 11A of the Act also continue to
remain pending consideration with the said Respondent
while the construction activity at Shastri Park, Delhi
is progressing in full swing. Aggrieved by the present
state of affairs, the Petitioner has filed the present
writ petition before this Hon'ble Court.

Mr Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for DMRC, submitted that
since the petitioner is a planner, the petition should
be treated like a PIL and referred to the appropriate
bench. Counsel for DDA submitted that objections /
suggestions had been considered and the proposed
modification approved in February and the only
omission on part of DDA had been that it had not
informed the petitioner about this. (These views have
a bearing, besides on larger questions about
classification of interests and what constitutes due
consideration, on DMP-2021 Public Notice)

Coincidentally, (presumably public-interest) "experts"
started today a 2-day "brain-storm" to frame
guidelines for new construction projects that
amendment of July 2004 has brought within the purview
of EIA notification of 1994. This is
arranged/facilitated by MoEF at (perhaps because of
"shortage of space" in Delhi) at TERI retreat in
Gurgaon. (Out of purely-personal academic/professional
interest I have been writing plannerly letters to MoEF
about the EIA notification and coterminus legal regime
of Public Notice process, etc, with reference to
examples like IT Park, etc, and had initially included
MoEF as a respondent but dropped it in view of GNCTD's
DPCC having issued Public Notice taking responsibility
of EIA notification amendment.)


Chief Minister inaugurated the illegal IT Park on
riverbed 02/04/05. Central Government, the other
partner in DMRC, was reportedly represented only
through MP Sandeep Dikshit (Secretary MoUD, Anil
Baijal, was there as DMRC Chairman). That (on the
heels of DDA budget approval, with 10% of its annual
outlay gifted to DMRC, and GNCTD budget, with IT Park
mentioned in budget speech) was cause-of-action.


Also today, newspapers have reported Supreme Court's
further directions about Yamuna / unauthorised
structures on it. Disregard of High Court order of
03/03/2003 for removal of all unauthorised structures
on the riverbed in the construction of IT Park
(started in 2003, while public notice for land use
change was issued only on 18/09/2004) is an issue
raised ever since, including in the instant petition.


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