Officials at the Okhla waste to energy plant and residents of Sukhdev Vihar, who have filed a case against it, seem to have different ideas on where the plant is located.
A set of New Delhi Municipal Council lease documents, presented to the National Green Tribunal during an ongoing case filed by Sukhdev Vihar residents on Tuesday, state that the plant is located on an area that can be used for the “construction of a compost plant and for no other purpose whatsoever”. According to the Delhi master plan, this area falls on the green belt.
The lawyer for the plant officials, however, said it is not located on the green belt or NDMC land, but on the Okhla Sewage Treatment Plant on land given to them by the Delhi Jal Board.
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Two weeks ago, the residents had presented a copy of the environment impact assessment report to the tribunal, which said that Sukhdev Vihar was 6.5 km from the site.
The plant is barely 200 metres from the boundary of the Sukhdev Vihar residential area.
At the tribunal on Tuesday, residents pointed out that the waste to energy plant was violating the Delhi Master Plan as it was built on land where only a compost plant was allowed. “The land use was not changed or notified but a waste to energy plant was built where only a compost plant was allowed. The plant violates the Delhi Master Plan. Moreover, the environment impact assessment report that gave clearance to the building of the plan states that it is built in Tughlakabad, 7 km from here. The report says that the plant will be integral to the Okhla landfill site,” said Ranjit Devraj, a resident of Sukhdev Vihar.
An angry NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar Monday made the lawyer for plant officials read out the definition of “integral” when the lawyer said the plant was not violating rules.
On Tuesday, he asked for detailed survey maps of the area to ascertain the plant’s location. The matter will be heard on Thursday.