Delhi University (DU) moves Supreme Court against the construction of highrise near Vishwavidyalaya metro station as North Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) approves its building plan.
Earlier this year, the Delhi University had filed a petition to the Delhi High Court (HC), challenging the transfer of public land to a private construction firm for the construction of a high rise near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station. This petition was dismissed by the HC which led the varsity to approach the Supreme Court (SC). Even as the SC hears the case against the proposal to construct a 39-storeyed building in the vicinity of DU’s North Campus, the North corporation has already approved the building plans of the structure.
DU had also written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Ministry as well as the Defence Ministry on this matter. Officials said that the proposed building is not viable keeping in mind security concerns for the North Campus students, since the building will have a bird’s-eye view of five of the girls’ hostels on the campus – Miranda House Girls’ Hostel, the Central Institute of Education, University Hostel for Women, Meghdoot Girls Hostel and the Girls’ Hostel of the Department of Social Work; apart from several other University buildings.
Moreover, the North MCD had in 2018 denied permission to this plan and asked the parties involved to approach the HC by the means of a writ. But earlier this year, the writ was withdrawn from the court and permission given to the plan, by North MCD, online.
A senior corporation official however, said,“All issues have been settled. The builder has complied with all formalities and, so, the approval was given. The allegations by DU are not true as all rules and regulations have been followed,” as reported by the Times of India (TOI).
According to a DU official, the land was bought by DMRC from defence ministry for Rs 42.4 crore for a public purpose. But a portion of it was sold to a private builder for Rs 218 crore. Now, the SC has asked the Ministry of Urban Affairs and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to file their responses to the case by August 23 and the next date of hearing is scheduled on August 26. Another case is pending with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in this matter, for which the hearing is scheduled on August 19. An affidavit filed by the Ministry of Defence in the NGT and the SC has stated that the issue should be “decided as per law”.
Bipin Tiwari, Deputy Dean (Works) at DU, questioned the urgency to give approval to the plan. “It is surprising that the corporation has cleared the proposal, flouting all norms, and despite the pendency of an SLP in SC and a writ in NGT. Land acquired for the public purpose at public expense can’t be given to a private builder,” he said in a conversation with TOI. DU also insists that the construction of this building will come in the way of the Master Plan of Delhi, 2021, that has been envisaged for the city’s infrastructure.
Image Credits: Times of India