Days after the apex court ruled in favour of the developer and set aside the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of status quo, the green panel has restrained the developer from proceeding with the construction.  


In a series of events involving the highest authorities of the nation, the NGT has ordered to stop all construction activities for the second time, as the Supreme Court had directed the green panel to take note of the counter affidavit moved by Young builders (YP) and pass orders in accordance with law. The top court said, “the same shall be done in an expeditious manner. All contentions of the parties are left open”. 


The NGT, on 3rd February 2020, restrained the builder from proceeding with the construction. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel observed, “While accepting prayer for adjournment, we direct that the project proponent may not proceed with any further activity till further consideration of the matter by this Tribunal.” 


Earlier in January, the NGT had issued status quo on the construction of the building, and the same was challenged by the counsel of YP, asserting that the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) had granted an Environmental clearance (EC) for the project. But the counsel for Delhi University had claimed that EC could be granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and not by SEIAA as the project is within 10 km from a critically polluted area. 


The NGT ruled that no construction could take place till the panel completes its deliberation on the same. A report from the Ministry of Environment is expected to be the decision-maker. 

Feature Image credits: The Hindu

Feature Image caption: NGT directs Young Builders to stop construction.


Kuber Bathla

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The Delhi University’s plea challenging construction of a private real estate high-rise building in the University campus was dismissed by the Supreme Court on the grounds of “delay and laches.”

The Supreme Court dismissed the Delhi University’s (DU) plea against the construction of a high-rise real estate building in the North Campus, as permitted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). On 12th May 2011, M/S Young Builders Private Limited received permission from the DDA for the construction of a housing society in the University campus without any height restrictions.

A total of three hectares of land was allotted to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) by the Ministry of Defence for the construction of the metro station, out of which two hectares were leased out for the construction of the private housing society. After a delay of seven to eight years, the University filed a plea challenging this construction before a single-judge bench in the Delhi High Court, however, the bench took note of the “delay and laches” and dismissed the plea on 27th April 2015.

Following this, a consequential intra-court appeal was moved before a two-judge bench of the High Court after a delay of 916 days. The court refused to overlook this delay of over two and a half years, pushing the University to move to the top court.

DU countered the DDA’s act of permitting construction of high-rise private buildings on campus and also sought to be excused for the delay in filing the first plea before the High Court. The University claimed that M/S Young Builders Private Limited’s construction of the group housing society was in violation of the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 and against the larger public interest, “given the fact that the project site in question and its vicinity are within the North Campus and that it contains historical buildings.” It also alleged that the construction site of these buildings was in proximity to various ladies’ hostels of the University, hence raising “an important privacy concern.”

However, top court bench, comprising Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna, stayed in agreement with the dismissal of the plea by the High Court on grounds of delay and laches. It said, “despite the writ petition having been filed belatedly in respect of certain actions which had commenced in the year 2005 and even though the writ petition was filed after obtaining approval of the Executive Council, no steps were taken to file the writ appeal for 916 days after disposal of the writ petition. In such circumstances, the cumulative effect of the delay and laches cannot be ignored”.

The Court also said, “We are of the opinion that not only the Single Judge was justified in holding that the writ petition inter alia is hit by delay and laches but the decision of the Division Bench in dismissing the LPA on the ground of delay of 916 days is also justified and the orders do not call for interference.”

Featured Image Credits: Jagran Josh

Aditi Gutgutia

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On the 10th day of the strike, students cycled from Vishwavidyalaya station to the Lieutenant Governor’s house to seek his intervention on the matter regarding the construction of the 39 storey building in the North Campus. 

The indefinite strike against the construction of the 39-storey building in the Campus by the students has been going on since 4th November 2019. Raja Chaudhary, Coordinator of the ‘DU Against 39 Storey Private Building Committee’ has been sitting on a hunger strike since the 10th November 2019, supported by other students, Gautam Barnwal and Kanika and a faculty of the university, Dr.Rasal Singh.

On the tenth day of the strike, a cycle rally was conducted from the place of protest near Vishvidyalaya metro station to the Lieutenant Governor’s house to seek his intervention in this matter.

Initially the Governor was reluctant to meet the student coordinator Mr. Chaudhary. However, after some deliberation, the governor conducted a meeting and appointed three officers, headed by Special Secretary Mr. Chanchal Yadav to inquire into the basis of permission given for the construction of the 39 storey private building by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi authorities and directed to submit the inquiry report within the next three days.

A letter by the students, addressed to the Lieutenant Governor, talks about the legality of the construction and the adverse effects of the constructed building. It asked the Lieutenant Governor to quash the project.

Mr. Chaudhary, in conversation with DU Beat, said, “This was the fifth day of my hunger strike. Yesterday, when we went to the LG’s house, we initially had to protest to be heard. However, now we have received assurance from the LG. We demand from the university as well that it take back the public land. Authorities from the DU are committed to building a hostel if we get the land back… Our strike will continue until we get an assurance from the Defence Ministry.”

The next meeting will be conducted after issue of the aforementioned report.

Feature Image Credits: Raja Chaudhary

Satviki Sanjay

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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

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The University of Delhi’s long-time pending demand for the construction of two hostels has finally bore fruit with the University ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). This stands as one of the key developmental issues that will take place in the University.

The University of Delhi (DU) along with the CPWD is planning to construct two hostels in the North and South Campus. A ‘400 bed capacity with double accommodation’ hostel is to be constructed in Mukherjee Nagar and the one in South Campus is yet to be finalised.

Currently, there are only 17 hostels in the University with a total capacity of 3,215 students whereas the total number of students for undergraduate, postgraduate, and certificate courses stands above a staggering number of 2,23,000 students. Having more hostels will bring better and safer living alternatives for the students of the University.

Along with the construction of the hostels, DU is also planning to preserve the century old Central Library as a ‘heritage building’. The Central Library is a host to a collection of 1,380 gifted books and functioned as a shifting space, until it found the present location at the Faculty of Arts in 1950. According to the plan, the library will be renovated and preserved along with the addition of another new block to it. The plan includes the construction of smart class rooms, seminar halls and an auditorium.

These two projects are spearheaded by CPWD along with the construction of a fully ‘digitalised Academic Block’ which will be located at the Maurice Nagar. The academic block will only be used for teaching purposes and will be constructed with digital and world class technology.

The University is working on more interesting plans and new technology for the students. As reported by The Pioneer, Mr. Tarun Das, Registrar, DU, said, “With the CPWD as the executing agency of the project, an estimated budget cost of the entire project is said to be 200 crores.”

The environment angle will duly be kept in check while all of these construction projects take place. Mr. Das also quoted, “Permissions need to be sought from environment department for felling trees.”

All of these projects stand as great stepping stones in bringing world class facilities to the university and making the spaces more accessible and centres of learning and ease for the students.

Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Amrashree Mishra

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The construction work in front of Ramjas college, which started a month ago to install sewage lines has been creating problems for the daily commuters. The roads were demolished in order to build proper sewage lines, and were hastily and temporarily repaired recently.  

This temporary and haphazard work done by the authorities is creating problems for the students and teachers alike. All the people suffering from breathing problems such as asthma find it difficult to breathe in the air, which is rife with dust particles. It not only aggravates their breathing, but also adversely affects their health.
Archit Singh, a student from the college suffering from asthma said, “I live in the hostel and I fear to go out of the college because the air is full of dust particles.”
Both asthmatic students and professors faced problems as they were unable to attend lectures resulting in huge loss to academics.

The road is not well-developed and is causing problems for the daily commuters. Veethi Khare, first year student of the college says, “I come to college on foot and the damaged footpath is run all over by the vehicles. This makes it quite difficult for the pedestrians to walk as they have no space left.”

It is also a major concern for the disabled people who face problems in crossing the road.
A PwD student Sumer Ram said, “The authorities are not making the road due to which so many PwD students refrain from coming to college. Blind students face problems in crossing the road.”

A student of Ramjas College, Udbhav Sharma wrote an application to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and highlighted the major concerns pertaining to this issue. He said, “Ramjas is a big college of Delhi University and such broken condition of road does not reflect good on the ambience of the college itself.” He also laid emphasis on the problems that the freshers will face, if the road is not constructed well within time.



Priya Sharma, a first year history student said, “It’s a shame that the administration has not shown any concern towards this. Even around this time, I didn’t come across any signs of improvement. The road is still in the same old condition. Moreover everybody is supposed to go from the main gate, I mean it’d be nice if they can allow people to enter from the other gates.”

Faculty members of the college appealed to the concerned authorities to take the requisite action. Talking to DU Beat, Principal Manoj Khanna questioned the Delhi Jalboard’s inefficiencies in completing the task on time.

Feature Image Credits: Ramjas College on Instagram (@ramjascollege)

Antriksha Pathania
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The Delhi Metro can be called the throbbing pulse of the city. I shudder to think what will happen if it comes to a halt one day without preamble. Delhi Metro, even after so many years, seems like a larger than life phenomenon. The fact that it is the first metro in India and that it has surpassed all expectations makes it a wonder in itself. The present generation has gotten so used to its benefits that they would have trouble ever remembering Delhi without the Metro.

The recent hullabaloo concerning the rising number of accidents relating to DMRC made me wonder if we weren’t being a tad unfair. After all, the accident rate of DMRC is still considerably low compared to international standards.  Singapore has 1.1 accidents per million man-hours, London Underground has 0.32 accidents and Delhi Metro Phase-II has 0.4 accidents. This is what DMRC Director E. Sreedharan claims. What are a few people dead here and a few there when the greater good is at stake? Well this, precisely, is what is wrong with it.

E. Sreedharan has given us an engineering marvel. The Metro gives the Mango Man convenience and comfort. Enough accolades can not be given to DMRC for making life easier in these tumultuous times. So, when there is so much right with the Metro, with the Chief, then why must it suffer from these petty flaws? There is nothing major wrong with the construction and planning. The 18 cracks that have been found in the bridges are not serious in nature according to DMRC reports.  Shirish Patel and Associates have now been mandated to recheck the design of all the 18 points in detail, apart from an overall checking of Phase-II structures.

I think the DMRC needs to puff out their chests and get a spring in their step. They’d do well to pick up their tools, set the faults right and reassure the public that their favourite transport is still very much safe. Other than this, the Metro stations lack basic amenities like public toilets and drinking water. These are the small things which are impeding the Metro from becoming a world class transport system and giving the public first class satisfaction.

Radhika Marwah