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Gymkhana row: Environment secy alleges smear campaign

DPCC alleged that “Delhi Gymkhana Club is trying to mix up unconnected & unrelated issues with technical issues.

The standoff between the Delhi Gymkhana Club (DGC) and state environment secretary Sanjiv Kumar, who is also the chairman of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), continues. Kumar has alleged the club was trying to “divert the issues of violations” in order to “avoid penal action by DPCC”.

In an exchange of emails between the DPCC and the club, the DPCC has also alleged that “Delhi Gymkhana Club is trying to mix up unconnected & unrelated issues with technical issues and non-compliance of directions of DPCC, prevailing legislations as well as directions of NGT with an intention to intimidate & bully down the officials of the department”.

Previously, the DGC, in an internal email to members, had said DGC’s assistant secretary had “spent the whole day in the DPCC on August 21, 2014, to request Kumar to accord approval on the file” and “had 4 to 5 meetings with him”. The email adds that in each meeting, Kumar had raised “membership issues and other extraneous matters”.

In a statement, Kumar clarified that “the representative of Delhi Gymkhana Club met the chairman, DPCC, only once on August, 21, 2014” and that the “Asst. Secretary of the Club was disturbing the office work by repeatedly barging into the chairman’s room”.

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Th internal mail issued by the DGC had also claimed that the National Green Tribunal had directed “that the order dated 14th August of DPCC will not be given effect”. But Kumar, in his statement, clarified that the August 14 order was issued by the SDM (Chanakyapuri) on the basis of a DPCC order, dated August 11.

He said “there is no stay on our direction(s) dated 11.08.2014”, which seeks the closure of the club, holding it responsible for wasting water, causing pollution and flouting environmental norms.

Speaking to Newsline, Kumar said, “There was a discrepancy between the number of borewells declared in the affidavit and at the time of inspection. It was due to this reason that the file was held back. They simply wanted me to put my signature down on their files, without me even going through the files properly. In response, the DGC has conducted a smear campaign against me simply to divert attention from the real issue.”

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Previously, the NGT had stayed a notice issued by the DPCC to shut down the club and disconnect its electricity supply due to illegal borewells operating within its premises.

The NGT has given unconditional relief and had asked the club to deposit Rs 5 lakh within a week with the Delhi Jal Board and apply for permission to operate the five borewells for extraction of groundwater, along with the installation of electromagnet meters.

First published on: 28-08-2014 at 02:26 IST
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