The Delhi High Court on Wednesday fixed February 28,2013,as the deadline for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to restore Neela Hauz,the ancient water body on Aruna Asif Ali Marg near Vasant Kunj,which was edging towards extinction due to the construction of a flyover.
A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri also asked the Delhi government to provide Rs 3.25 crore,required for restoration of the water body,to the DDA in a months time. The court,however,asked the DDA to not wait for monetary sanction from the government and start work as soon as possible.
The DDA must start work immediately,so it can be completed within 12 months. We hope that strict compliance with the time schedule will be adhered to,and no laxity will be shown by the civic body. Let the DDA complete the necessary formalities within two weeks and complete the restoration work by February 28,2013, said the bench.
DDA counsel Ajay Verma told the court that the land was given to the DDA by the Delhi government only on Tuesday,and they will start the work as per the schedule.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Malvika Kaul,a resident of Vasant Kunj,through her lawyer Bankey Bihari. Kaul had alleged that the government was being indifferent to the endangered water body. The PIL had also raised concerns over ecological imbalance caused by the construction of the flyover. Preserving this lake is important because it is the only natural source of recharging the groundwater in Vasant Kunj. The water level in the area is already very low… (and) construction activities will keep on depleting it unless protected, the PIL contended.