In a strong message to the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) Ltd, the Delhi High Court Thursday said it won’t allow them to go ahead with construction of the World Trade Centre at Nauroji Nagar, unless the government justifies the ground on which they decided to redevelop the area. “You (government) justify your action in Nauroji Nagar,” a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao said. The bench’s strong remark came after the NBCC urged the court that they be allowed to go ahead with construction.
It also reiterated its earlier order halting “development/redevelopment” of seven projects in south Delhi, as it would lead to an increase in population density in the area compared to what existed prior to the proposed redevelopment. The court also made it clear that it had only allowed the NBCC to take steps for securing Nauroji Nagar, since the site might get damaged due to rain and lead to a cave-in.
“We cannot understand the anxiety of NBCC, that they want us to allow them to go ahead with construction at Nauroji Nagar and leave other six projects,” the bench remarked. Meanwhile, the bench was informed by central government standing counsel Ripudaman Bhardwaj that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had decided to revisit its decision with regard to six housing projects.
Hearing this, the bench said Nauroji Nagar needs to wait till the government reconsiders the other six projects. “We want to see how approval for each clearance was given by the agency concerned, and whether all statutory rules were followed during the same,” the bench said, directing the government to submit their report on a revised plan within two weeks.
The NBCC has moved the application in the ongoing pleas and contempt petition filed by various individuals against felling of trees for housing projects in seven south Delhi colonies. Their plea also sought setting aside of the reference and environmental clearances granted to the project.