The National Green Tribunal has directed that construction be stopped and an environmental impact assessment be carried out of a private 39-storey building being built near Vishwavidyalaya Metro station.
The project has drawn the ire of students and staff of Delhi University, who have approached the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court and NGT over the construction. DU students demanded that the 20,000 square metres of land, on which a residential building is being planned, be given to the varsity for building hostels for 4,000 students.
In an order Wednesday, the Tribunal observed, “Applying the ‘precautionary principle’ of environmental law, we consider it necessary to require an evaluation of relevant data, and not the old database, by a joint committee comprising representatives of the CBCB, MoEF&CC and IIT Delhi”.
The project area was part of 3.05 hectares of land the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation acquired from the Defence Ministry in 2001. The Metro station was built on one hectare of land and the rest was given to a company, which is planning to build residential flats.
The Tribunal noted that environmental clearance (EC) was granted to the project in 2012, which had lapsed and a fresh application was submitted for its amendment.
However, it said the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) later declared the EC to be null and void, and treated the amendment application as a fresh one without ensuring the data taken into account was relevant as of the date of application.
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