The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has suspended environmental clearance for the 37-floor high-rise that was to be constructed near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station, claiming that the approval for the building was given “without application of mind” and that the project is “simply not viable”. 

The National Green Tribunal suspended the environmental clearance given for the thirty-seven storey high-rise that was to be constructed near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station, claiming that the approval regarding the building was given, “without application of mind”. 

The Tribunal noted that the carrying capacity of the university area wasn’t kept in mind and that it cannot sustain such a building. The NGT claimed that the air and noise levels of the area are already over permissible levels and that the location of the building is extremely close to important forest reserves, the Yamuna river, as well as notable educational institutions- the University of Delhi’s North Campus- and hospitals, with a high traffic density and therefore such a project is, “simply not viable”.

The project area which was originally 3.05 hectares of land in Civil Lines was acquired by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation from the Defence Ministry in 2001. The Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station was built on 1 hectare of land, while the rest was sold to Young Builders Ltd. 

Various protests by student and environmental organisations and parties were held protesting against the building of the high-rise, owing largely to the environmental and health risks and hazards that it posed. The protests gained a lot of traction and support from students and environmentalists. As a response, the NGT has requested a separate evaluation of the project via a team comprising of those from the Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board, and others, and has sought a report regarding the issue from the same within two months. The developer has been restrained from all further developments and building activity until 9th July 2020. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Shreya Juyal

[email protected] 



On 11th November 2019, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organised a protest from the Arts Faculty in the University of Delhi (DU) North Campus, to the Vishwavidyalaya metro station against the construction of a private 39-storey building in the University Campus. 

The protest was joined by members of ABVP and led by Siddharth Yadav, State Secretary, ABVP, and Shivangi Kharwal, Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Joint Secretary. The protest was led with slogans like, “students’ power, Nations’ power,” and “DMRC hosh mein aao,”.

Siddharth Yadav, State Secretary, ABVP, said to DU Beat, “We were the first ones to raise this issue as an organisation. We attracted attention towards it way back. The land was transferred in 2008 to this private builder by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) by corrupt practices that involved the then government as well. A private residential land on a public complex will not be accepted by the student union. This is one issue where people must unite. This is beyond ideological differences. We are hopeful in the coming days, people would unite.”

 “A building on chhatra marg would be destructive- it would not be chhatra marg anymore. It would be 600 more families, 2500 more cars on campus. This is not what DU looks like. North Campus is prestigious. Most of the buildings are heritage buildings. If we change it today it is going to be a disgrace to all student leaders, to all students across. We are going to attract media houses. After this, DUSU is going to meet the defense ministry, the DMRC, the LG, and the NDFC. So, we are planning for delegations, we are planning to take this issue big,” he added. 

“This is our second protest. This time, DUSU has called all organisations to come forward and join our protest and fight. This issue is an issue concerning all students in the University. Our demand is that this land should be used for the construction of hostels and sport complexes. This land is not for private builders of mafias. ABVP has written a letter to all student organisations and talked to DUTA and DUCU as well,” said Shivangi Kharwal, DUSU Joint Secretary to DU Beat. 

Raja Chaudhary, one of the students who had been leading a protest against the construction of the building since 4th November on the footpath beside the metro station, said, “aap dekh rahe honge yaha pe ABVP ka protest chal raha hai. Mai bas yahi kehna chahunga ki yaha pe tokenism wala protest nahi chalega. (You would be seeing the ABVP protest that is going on right here. All I would like to say is that tokenism would not work here,)”.  He has also guest authored an article regarding the construction of the private building on DU Beat.

This construction has also been opposed by students from colleges like Miranda House, Aryabhatta College, Kirori Mal College, and the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA). DU has also written letters to the President and the PMO regarding the construction of the building.  

Feature Image Credits: Satviki Sanjay for DU Beat

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

Thursday witnessed litthis and chokhas at the North Campus as students from the University of Delhi (DU) held a protest near the Vishwavidalaya metro station to show their displeasure against the construction of a 39-storied building near the Campus. 

A wave of voices raised in unison on 7th November to protest against the construction of a building near campus. Vishwavidalaya metro station, being the nearest spectator to the protest, witnessed students from DU put forth their concerns and issues.

An uncanny side of the protest was the campaign of “solidarity through food” at the North Campus, serving litti chokha as a way to amplify support against the construction. Jagannath Jaggu, one of the organisers of the event, pursuing M.A. in Buddhist Studies said that they were trying to unite people living in the University area. He further added that the E-rickshaw Drivers’ Association has extended their support to the campaign.

The roots of the protest were traced out to be an issue against the construction of a 39- storied building near campus, on the grounds that it could compromise the privacy of women’s hostel in the area. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the University administration joined hands in opposing the construction. The Hindu reported that the construction by a private builder is reportedly being undertaken on a land that originally belonged to the Ministry of Defence. It was transferred to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), and finally to the builder. It is told that the DMRC had acquired 3.05 hectares of land from the Defence Ministry in 2001, of which the metro station was built on 1 hectare of land. The rest was given to a company, which is planning to build residential flats.

Rasal Singh, member of the Campus Development Committee said, “The University was united over the issue.” He said that the building would “bulldoze the teaching-learning culture of the University.” He further added, “Government authorities must take serious cognizance… and immediately stop the construction of this illegal building.”

One of the participants in the protest, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I am here for a different cause too. The Air Quality Index of North Campus has hit a severe low. Constructional activities have to stop, otherwise, the air shall remain choked.”


Feature Image Credits: The Times of India


Priyanshi Banerjee

[email protected]