The North MCD has cleared the plan to construct the city’s tallest building, a 39-storey group housing society, near Vishwavidyalaya Metro station in the vicinity of Delhi University’s North Campus. North MCD standing committee head Chhail Bihari said the layout plan has been passed by the corporation, and the building, set to be 145.30 metres tall, can be constructed on two hectares of land.
But the move has not gone down well with the varsity, which had held protests and raised issues over privacy concerns due to several hostels in the vicinity.
DU Deputy Dean (works) Bipin Tiwari said: “The layout has been cleared by the standing committee, and it is not the final authority. The MCD’s earlier layout is under challenge at the National Green Tribunal, and the Supreme Court had upheld this. Pending all these things… they can’t bring out a new layout till the earlier issue is settled. The MCD is also required to consult DU before taking decisions on this matter. We have written to the North MCD commissioner, with copies to the Chief Minister and the L-G, raising our concerns.”
Bihari, however, said construction can start only after the NGT grants permission. Last year, the green panel had directed that construction be stopped and called for an environmental impact assessment. The NGT had noted that environmental clearance (EC) was granted to the project in 2012, which had lapsed and a fresh application was submitted for its amendment.
AAP leaders also objected to the proposal. North MCD standing committee member and AAP leader Ajay Kumar said there are privacy concerns due to many hostels in the vicinity.
Another member of the standing committee Vicky Gupta said as per master plan rules, the floor area cannot be more than 75% for buildings in the area but the project has an FAR of 200%. He said rules can only be changed by the Urban Development ministry through a notification.
North MCD mayor Jai Prakash, however, said the work was executed as per rules.
The project area was part of 3.05 hectares of land the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had acquired from the Defence Ministry in 2001. The Metro station was built on one hectare and the rest was given to a private firm, which is planning to build residential flats. The construction had drawn the ire of DU students and staff, who said the building violates the Master Plan of Delhi 2021. They moved the Supreme Court last year after the Delhi High Court dismissed its petition challenging the transfer of public land to a private builder and the construction of the high-rise. DU students had also demanded that the land be given to the varsity for building hostels for 4,000 students.
At present, the tallest building in Delhi is the 28-storey MCD Civic Centre, which is 102 metres high.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines