New Delhi Aug 23(ILNS): The Supreme Court today issued notice on plea seeking directions to stay construction of a flyover over a residential road (DDA Road No 226) in Sectors 22 and 23 in Dwarka, Delhi.
A bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah issued notice on a plea filed by “Rao CGHS Ltd (New Millenium CGHS) & Ors.” challenging the order of Delhi High Court which had refused to grant relief on an application filed by it seeking directions to National Highway Authority of India to place on record all mandatory provisions and approvals obtained by it enabling it for carrying out construction on DDA Road no 226, Dwarka. The plea had also sought a direction to restrain the NHAI from carrying out any construction till it produces the statutory approvals.
Today before the Apex Court, Counsel of the petitioner Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, submitted that the High Court while declining to grant interim relief for construction of Highway project in Dwarka has plainly ignored. By one notification, the ministry of road transport and the highways of the union government had issued a notification of new highway. As a consequence, another notification stands attracted with regards to entry of schedule which speaks of new National Highways. The feasibility report also clearly indicates that the project in question was a green Field project. In the earlier order of High Court there was a specific direction that no removal of trees shall take place through the permission lapses the High Court has declined to grant interim relief.
The bench while issuing a notice said, “Since an application for interim relief is made, we are of the view that advance notice is sent to the respondent. List it for this Friday.”
Earlier the petitioners had approached the High Court against the said construction. On December 18, 2020, the High Court had issued notice to the NHAI and the Delhi Government and sought their responses. The plea also alleged that NHAI has not applied for approval to cut/remove trees from road no 226, Sector 22, 23 Dwarka, where the construction was being carried out by it and the respondent no 7 “J Kumar Infra Projects Limited.”
The Delhi High Court had on December 18, 2020, directed the NHAI and the J Kumar Infra Projects Limited, to not remove/cut trees in the area in question without prior approval from the competent authority under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.
On July 30, 2021, the High Court had also rejected the application filed by the petitioner “Rao CGHS Ltd (New Millenium CGHS) & Ors” with regards to the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, alleging that the work sought to be undertaken by the NHAI would also require environmental Clearance as the proposed highway is a new National Highway. The High Court had noted, “Needless to say, it will be open for the respondent no 1 (NHAI) to proceed with the construction by following the directions already issued by this Court in its earlier orders.”
The petition before the Delhi High Court was filed against the said construction stating its detrimental to the rights of the petitioners, which are co-operative group housing societies (CGHS) and the residents of Sector 22 & 23 of Dwarka. Approximately 50 residential apartment societies and 12 schools adjoin the said DDA Road no 226.
“The authorities concerned have turned a blind eye and it would lead to an exponential increase in traffic, increase in air and noise pollution, created traffic bottlenecks, increase road safety issues for local residents, as also cutting of trees on the residential roads,” the plea added. /ILNS/KR/SNG