High Rise


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

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The National Green Tribunal has ordered a halt and a status quo on the construction of the housing complex being built adjacent to the University Campus.

As on 13th January, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a status quo on the construction of the housing complex being built adjacent to the Delhi University’s (DU’s) North Campus. A Bench headed by Adarsh Kumar Goel, the NGT Chairperson Justice, has said that an evaluation of relevant data is required by a Joint Committee comprising representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, in regards to the “Precautionary Principle” of Environmental Law, which requires that, if there is a strong suspicion that a certain activity may have environmentally harmful consequences, it is better to control that activity now rather than to wait for incontrovertible scientific evidence.

“The Committee may also undertake carrying capacity study of the area with reference to the project in question-based on the relevant data. The study may be completed preferably within two months,” the Bench said.

This statement by the tribunal comes after a hearing of the plea by DU challenging the environmental clearance granted to the construction of the housing project by Young Builders (P) Ltd. in North Delhi, and CPCB will be acting as the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

The plea argued the order of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) granting Environmental Clearance (EC) for the housing complex located at 1 and 3 Cavalry Lane and 4 Chhatra Marg at Civil Lines in Delhi. It was filed and challenged through advocates Sanjay Upadhyay and Salik Shafique and claimed that the EC could not be granted by the SEIAAbecause it is within 10 km from Critically Polluted Area- Najafgarh, Naraina, Wazirpur and Anand Parbat are critically polluted areas. The EC can, therefore, be granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests but not by the SEIAA. The project is also in the Silence Zone, being within 100 m from Delhi University and Patel Chest Institute, and also in the water scarcity zone with the Sulphate content of groundwater being above the specified limit.

“As per the project proponent’s own report, the project is susceptible to subsidence and liquefaction during a major earthquake. A geotechnicalinvestigation needs to be carried out which has not been done. Traffic plans/congestion filed by the project proponent with the application is based on the statistics of July 2011,” the plea said.

Several protests- backed by student-led parties and activist groups, as well as the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA)- have been protesting against the construction of the high-rise in the University’s North Campus.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Shreya Juyal

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Varsity seeks President’s intervention to stop the construction of a 39-storey high rise private building in North Campus.

The Delhi University (DU) has urged the President of India, the Vice President, and the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to intervene in the matter pertaining to the construction of a 39-storey private building in North Campus. The Vice President of the country is the officiating Chancellor of the University, and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is the Chief Rector of the varsity.

Various sections have condemned the construction of the building, saying it is being constructed illegally on public land. They have also said the building will overlook six girls’ hostels in the varsity and will invade their privacy. Protests in this regard have regularly been ongoing since the move was given clearance by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) earlier last month.

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has also opposed the construction of the building in North Campus saying it “would significantly alter the social and cultural landscape of Delhi University” and also compromise the “safety of women students”.

The building is coming up adjacent to Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station in the North Campus of the University.

On Saturday, the varsity’s vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi announced at the Executive Council meeting that the varsity will be developed into an “integrated closed campus” within a year, sources said, adding the Council sought the support of North MCD and Delhi Police for this. The University’s South Campus, on the other hand, is a closed campus. The varsity has also formed a 20-member task force to look into the matter and address issues like illegal parking, traffic, incidents of snatching in the campus.

DU had also written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Ministry as well as the Ministry of Defense on this matter. DUTA, the teachers’ body also said that there is already a severe paucity of spaces for students on campus, for their accommodation, recreation and for other academic activities and the use of this space for a residential complex is questionable in its intent. 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. Moreover, according to the documents accessed by Mail Today, 228 trees have been felled for the construction of this building.

Feature Image Credits: The Times of India

Bhavya Pandey

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