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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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

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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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The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Thursday, 12th September, raised its voice against the construction of a 39-storey high-rise housing society at the North Campus citing safety and privacy concerns.

DUTA has opposed the construction of a 39-storey 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, near Gate Number 3 and 4. DUTA also stated that the land originally belonged to the Ministry of Defence and was acquired for public purpose by the state government for the construction of metro station by Delhi Municipal Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Consequently, the DMRC sold two-thirds of this land by granting perpetual lease of ninety years to a private builder called ‘Young India’, in the guise of property development and by changing the land use from “public and semi-public facility to residential”, the DUTA alleged.

Sudhanshu Kumar, the Vice President of DUTA, stated, “This is the height of privatisation. It (building) would seriously compromise the safety and privacy of women students on campus as it stands in close proximity to several hostels that house women. It would also pose a serious safety issues for all students on campus, restricting their right to move freely in their own campus. It is clearly a ghotala committed by the State Government, DMRC and ‘Young India’.”

DU had also written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Ministry, as well as the Ministery of Defence 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.

They 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. The Association has also notified that it “will take up the matter with the President of India, who is the visitor to the University”, in conversation with the Dainik Jagran.

Meanwhile, women living in the varsity’s 20 hostels have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising concerns over the construction of the high-rise building in the campus, saying that it will “infringe their privacy” and “prejudice the security” of students.

Image Caption: Female students, living in the campus’s 20 hostels, have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns over the construction of the high-rise building in Campus. Image Credits: Jagran Media
Image Caption: Female students, living in the campus’s 20 hostels, have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns over the construction of the high-rise building in Campus.
Image Credits: Jagran Media

The letter reads, “…it (the construction of the structure) would directly infringe the privacy of all the women’s hostel in close proximity to the land, it would prejudice the security of the students who attend departments and colleges in North Campus, since being a private structure the activities that will take place in the building will not be open to public censoring and if such a building is to be constructed in the University area, it would curtail the students’ freedom to move around the campus…”

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: DU Beat Archives


Bhavya Pandey

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Bhagyashree Chatterjee

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The University of Delhi (DU) has come face to face with the Delhi Government with regards to the construction of a 39 storey private building in North Campus.

As per a report by the India Times, DU has written a letter to the Centre, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, demanding to stop the construction work immediately.

In the year 2001, The Delhi Government had acquired three acres of land from the Ministry of Defence to construct the metro line. Only an acre was used and the rest two acres were sold to a private builder in order to build a 39 storey building.The University believes that the construction of private property would lead to great repercussions for the varsity as it threatens its educational space and can also pose a threat in terms of safety.

In 2018, varsity had written to the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Housing, lead by Mr. Durga Shankar Mishra requesting for restraining North DMC from granting any sanction to the Group Housing Projects of Young Builders Private Limited, near Vishwavidyalaya Metro station.

Delhi University’s Officer on Special Duty Mr. Vipin Tiwari talked to India Today, about this move. He stated that he had witnessed the construction of the building behind the metro station.

According to him, this poses a great threat to the University space as it’s a private building and is very close to not only four girl’s hostels but also the office of the Lieutenant Governor and the DRDO office. The construction was not stopped despite various complains, not only that it will also be the tallest building around if constructed. It poses a great threat as this a high-security zone.

He also added that this also violates the three points of Clause 11 of the Delhi Master Plan 2021. Various political parties also showed their dissent against this move. The Mayor of Delhi Mr. Avatar Singh responded by stating that a letter requesting the clearing of doubts raised has been sent to the Governor. “All at being fault shall be persecuted”, he added.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Stephen Mathew

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For me, the idea of Delhi from a nondescript town in Assam had been small. It was bounded by red brick buildings of a campus, in the souls of what I considered the crème de la crème of India’s student life. But after a year in this glorious city, after countless kebabs in paranthe wali gali, I realize that there is so much more to it.

I moved to Delhi during August of the year 2017, very pleased with my admission in Miranda House, a college I had hoped would cater to my feminist wings. I encountered a bunch of people there, who amazingly tackled subtle forms of misogyny and sexism with grace and patience. I was proud to be a part of such an institution.

Come winter, me and my roommate went on the quintessential Delhi darshan: meandering through the crumbling lanes of Chandi Chowk, the jaded monuments of Majnu ka Tila, and the looming monuments of South Delhi. All were relics of the history of the city, all enshrined in glorious magnificence. Having a best friend as a roommate means that you get a partner to be insane with and to hang onto that insanity through the nitty-gritties of college life. It is a blessing to have someone so close to you, that you literally sleep on top of each other during winters (because we cannot afford a heater so we proudly rely on body heat). I saw dervishes in Nizamuddin’s famed dargah, cried in its sweltering heat, and let my teeth chatter during winters. I saw the ghosts of the past and the present.

Ghalib once wrote, “I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life.” His words ring true in every cobblestone path, every blade of grass of the city. The world’s life beats in the streets and the blades of grass of Delhi. But it is the University campus that is where I come to roost— Hudson Lane, McDonald’s, Tom Uncle’s Maggi point, Kamla Nagar, Arts Fac, and Vishwavidyalya Metro Station became my daily vocabulary.

There are still great desires to be fulfilled with Delhi. My tryst with its ghosts and its denizens will continue. But I have come to realize that like Ghalib, my soul lies not just with the city but with its people. It lies with my roommate, my friends at the University, with DU Beat, the guards at my college, the rickshaw pullers from Vijay Nagar who know me well enough to know I won’t ride their rickshaws, the professors who seem to grow in stature, and in the fire that burns in every individual of the city. It lies with the ghosts of Edwin Lutyens, Nehru, and Ghalib. For the freshers stepping into the city, I only hope your experience is just as subliminal and yet sublime. That you realize that it is the people of the city who breathe life into what would have otherwise been a lifeless, insipid necropolis.


Feature Image Credits: NDTV

Sara Sohail
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In a landmark step to pressurise the government into rolling back the metro fare hike which came into effect in May and October of 2017, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) held a strike in the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station from 1pm on the 18th of January.

The protest “Occupy Vishwavidyalaya” witnessed a number of students, led by the AISA, block Gate 3 of the metro station in a bid to ‘occupy’ the same until the government accepted their demands of immediate rollback of the metro fare hike and giving metro consessional passes to all DU students.

Senior members of AISA Neeraj Kumar, Sucheta Dey, and Sunny Kumar along with ardent supporters raised slogans like “fare hike dhokha hai” (fare hike is betrayal), “metro pass dena hoga” (the government will have to give metro concessional passes), and “paee paee occupy (occupy every inch)”.

In the context where an estimated 2.8 million passengers travel daily on the capital’s metro, the DMRC had recorded a fall in ridership when it had hiked the metro fare twice in 2017. This move had been exceptionally hard-hitting for the students of DU, many of whom have to travel long distances to come to college.

At the face of several policemen being stationed at the metro station to control any law and order situation that might crop up, AISA President (DU) Kawalpreet Kaur, in her impassioned speech, invoked the crowd to block Gate 3 and pledged not to move until either the DMRC or the government heeds their demands. Terming the fare hike as “unacceptable”, Kawalpreet said, “This metro is named Vishwavidyalaya and yet the students themselves aren’t able to use the metro. So what is the point of calling this metro station ‘Vishwavidyalaya’? The fare hike has compelled the students to either use other means of transportation or even skip college on days at an end. This inability to access the university campus also amounts to denial of education.”

It is noteworthy that even last October, AISA had held a demonstration in the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station to pressurise the government on this issue. However, AISA National President Sucheta Dey today claimed that till date, there has been no communication from the DMRC in response to the same. On being asked by the DU Beat correspondent regarding their course of action if the police forcefully tries to evacuate the gathering, AISA State Secretary Neeraj Kumar said, “We have raised our voice in a peaceful manner. Any unprecedented step by the police would go against the law. In a passionate reference to the legacy of student protesters, Kawalpreet discerned that it was because of the protests by the students of DU a few years back that student passes for DTC busses were made available.

While Delhi Metro has lost 3 lakh commuters after the fare hike in October, there is an apprehension that by 2019, the metro fare will double itself. At the backdrop of the DMRC’s reticence on the issue, the question that various student quarters of DU are asking is, if Kolkata can have metro concessional passes for students, why can’t Delhi? While the aam janta shouts, “mehengi metro nahi chalegi” (costly metro will not be allowed), is the government listening?


Feature Image Credits: P.V. Purnima for DU Beat.

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak 

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For most of us whose colleges are in the north campus of Delhi University, our day technically starts in the campus with a two minute walk which somehow manages to imbibe a holistic essence of that entire place in itself. Now while this semester wraps up itself, with nostalgia already in the air, there is this small part, a small place which all those who are graduating, will miss for sure.

For three most memorable years of our lives, we have walked on the lane outside the VV metro station and everything from the chatter, the dusty winds from the barren ground on right to the simple walks with the friends now awaits to be a memory. But out of everything, the walk will be missed beneath the memories of the college, lectures, farewells and everything.

The walk which starts from the four steps down the VV station’s exit and stretches to the Chattra Marg is almost like a kaleidoscope which comprises of different people, food, folders, jewellery and colours.

Like a collage of a hundred little things, there are a few which you will find or see here almost all the time. Some of them are so consistent that even when your best friend didn’t show up on time and you didn’t run into a class/college mate in the metro and you’re walking all by yourself with your headphones on, you will still unconsciously see every detail unfold around you.

So, four steps down the station and you will find these overtly welcoming rickshaw wallas advertising their rides like cheap honeymoon packages to Vegas, in their hard to ignore ‘Madam! Mirinda bees rupay me’. You might ignore them with or without a smile and turn to this place slowly coming to life in the early morning hours. It is almost recognizable when the scent of morning dust gets amalgamated with the steam of fresh momos and the grey smoke of cigarettes getting stronger as the hours pass by. There will be at least one group circulating a cigarette under the trees, one simply hanging out apparently bunking classes, one discussing Marxist theories, while one with the ‘how FYUP has ruined their lives and which FC presentation is due’ discussions.

A few steps ahead and the back side of the bus stand will probably appear screaming for your attention through its black and white ABVP/ NSUI/ anti FYUP posters pasted in the most monotonous and dull colours. No one ever looks. But there are chances that you will spot these men/women in black distributing the same pamphlets to you and watching you make a nice little crumbed ball of it before throwing it in the parking area ahead. These people apparently never mind.

A few steps ahead, beside the momos selling lady, this man selling antique looking Indian candies reminds you of the 1999’s childhood. Then the little collection of posters, from Friends, Harry Potter to Nirvana will always have some visitors for sure. Pretty much coming to an end, the sparkling side of the walk comes with the jewellery selling stalls stretching to the road. Before you exit, you will find this old man with his weighing machine sitting there, almost every day; waiting for someone to stop in front of his old machine and pay him three rupees. He even has a Facebook page in his name because he won’t beg but earn respectfully.

The walk comes to an end when your mind starts thinking about the college, often interrupted by a random three feet tall kid asking for money from you and you move to the parking lot dotted with pamphlets all over. Now taking a rickshaw of the man who has the same welcoming look on his face, you leave, only to return a few hours later, to this place which will be still the same.

But since the semester is ending and each day brings this urge to gather more and more memoirs from this place, from the busy streets of Kamla Nagar, from this North Campus, a slow and long walk on the VV street is a must. Making it slow, taking in every detail before some new road becomes your daily pathway to somewhere else, you should do it before life changes after college.

Every year things change, but this street will remain the same way for years till some people go while some come to this campus and walk on this street of cigarettes, momos and trinkets.

An adaption of the reality show “The Apprentice”, D’apprentice National is a 3-day Pan India business event that was organized recently by Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, in association with the Dean of student’s welfare, for undergraduate students. It aimed at pitting the crème de la crème of the country against each other in a highly competitive and realistic business environment.

The finale of the highly innovative event was held on 19th and was based on the concept of “Disneyfication”. The main idea behind it was infusing a place with a particular idea, hybrid consumption, and merchandising, In other words, selling a variety of goods under the same theme and concept. The aim was to provide a platform for experience based learning in a highly competitive business environment facilitated by challenging tasks that tested entrepreneurial, organizational, and general management skills.

8 teams, named after Mafia clans, had set up their own stalls under their chosen theme and actually sold their products to customers in real time. The aim was to take the competition to the real market so it was organised at Vishwavidyala metro station. The event started around 2 pm, which was the peak time for commuters to pass by, thus a great opportunity to attract consumers. Students could be seen trying to bargain and sell their products.

This task offered the students an insight into the competitive business world and the teams were evaluated on their marketing as well as their total profits. Team Tattaglia Family emerged as the winners of the event and won Rs. 48 grand along with internships. Nikhil Singh was the strongest person of the event- the Godfather, and he won a cash prize of Rs. 5000, along with a voucher worth Rs. 6000 and an internship.

The event was a huge success and a excellent learning experience.

Picture Credits: www.du.ac.in

Surbhi Grover

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Friday, February 10, 2012. This date will be marked as one of the darkest pages in the history of  DU. In an incident that is nothing short of frightening, a terrible stampede at Ramjas College injured several students. The college was hosting its annual fest and a certain singer, who goes by the name of Honey Singh, was to perform there at 6.30pm.

At 4pm, the traffic intersection between Delhi School of Economics and Ramjas was in a state of complete chaos with police vans speeding towards Ramjas from all sides. The rumours and panic that spread among the students who were on the road at that time, did little to help the already grave situation. The speculations soon became wild and reached all the way to Vishwavidyalaya metro station where stories of a possible death were doing the rounds.

Fortunately, there have been no reports to indicate that any lives were lost. However, a girl (rumoured to be a student of Dyal Singh College) allegedly fell in the stampede and was so severely injured by the rushing crowd that she had to be admitted to a hospital and is still in ICU. “ It was a nightmare, there is no other way to explain it. I regretted going there so badly that I was almost in tears,” said a student on the condition of anonymity.

The college authorities are underplaying the incident because the blame for the entire fiasco is being pinned on them. Students were initially entering one by one in an orderly fashion when the college decided to throw the gates open to make their job simpler. “ We decided to open the gates at 3pm because a very large crowd had already gathered by then. A girl felt slightly uncomfortable and was rushed to a hospital,” said the Principal of the college.