The National Green Tribunal has put the clearance for a real estate firm on hold near the Delhi University. The clearance was passed the Union Environment Ministry in 2012 and since then three clearances have been passed. NGT has questioned the ministry on passing of these projects. The NGT noted that the builder had enough information which the environment assessment committee of the ministry did not look into while granting the clearance.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Young Builders Private Limited and other parties, seeking their responses within a month. “Since this tribunal has to conduct a merit review of the decision of granting EC, it is necessary to put the affected parties to notice and call for the record,” the bench said.
Accordingly, the appeal is disposed of as infructuous, without prejudice to the rights and remedies of the parties in accordance with law, the bench said. Applying the “precautionary principle” of environmental law, the NGT on January 8, 2020 had directed Young Builders (P) Ltd in north Delhi that no construction activity should be carried out. A joint committee has also been formed in respect of the same. The real estate owner was once again restricted from any development activity.
Delhi University had filed the plea against the builder which was accepted by the NGT and has now been taken into action. It said EC could be granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and not by SEIAA as the project is within 10 km from Critically Polluted Area, notified by CPCB. The university said the permission sought by Young Builders Private Limited for construction of a group housing society in the university enclave was violative of the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 and was against the larger public interest, “given the fact that the project site in question and its vicinity are within the North Campus of the University and that it contains various historical and archaeological buildings”.