NEW DELHI: Green activists in the capital have filed a police complaint against alleged violation of court order by National Buildings and Construction Corporation (
The charge is that NBCC started construction and cut down trees at Sarojini Nagar and Netaji Nagar redevelopment project sites.
NBCC officials, however, claim pruning and demolition is being done as part of “preparatory work”.
“For the pruning, we have taken permission from Delhi forest department. The court in the latest hearing has asked us to submit revised proposal for the projects. The environment clearance is in process but we are yet to receive it,” an NBCC official said.
In its order dated October 3, 2018, the Delhi high court had said, The complaint filed on Friday states the activity was completely illegal and in violation of a recent Delhi high court order. That order refers to the one on October 3 last year where NBCC was directed to conduct an environment impact assessment and obtain green clearance afresh along with other necessary approvals.
“NBCC should be permitted to approach appropriate statutory authorities for necessary approvals of the revised proposals, which shall be considered by the said authorities in accordance with law,” the court had said.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameshwar Rao had also said, “NBCC shall also be at liberty to approach the tree officer (Delhi government) if required as per revised proposal for tree felling permissions. Further action/steps shall be taken by NBCC as per the decision of the statutory authorities.”
But the complaint says NBCC went ahead with full scale operations in a contempt of court.
Bhavreen Kandhari, a resident of Defence Colony and one of the complainants said they plan to file a contempt petition in court as well. “We went to NBCC office with the officials at the site. But apart from the last court order, they couldn’t produce anything,” Kandhari said.
Last June, there was a huge furore over the redevelopment of Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Mohammadpur, Kasturba Nagar, Naoroji Nagar and Srinivaspuri.
NBCC was on its way to pull down the old residential complexes — built in the 1950s — to replace them with high-rise residential buildings, commercial spaces and a World Trade Centre in those areas.
Construction work in these neighbourhoods had to be temporarily stopped by the courts following a series of citizen protests and litigations against the proposal to cut 14,000 trees. The forest department, which had given the go-ahead, had later withdrawn all permissions.
NBCC also came under scanner for plagiarising the EIA report sent to the Centre based on which all clearances were given.