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High rise near DU North campus will need new environmental clearance, NGT told

After concerns about the project’s impact on the area’s air quality, traffic, groundwater and other issues were raised in the application and in February last year, the Tribunal had suspended the EC by stating that the plan does not appear to be viable.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 22, 2021 2:07:20 am

A project to build a 37-floor high rise near Delhi University’s North Campus will need new environmental clearance (EC), the National Green Tribunal (NGT) was told Wednesday. The submission was made by the realtor before the tribunal, which was hearing an application filed by Delhi University challenging the environmental clearance granted for the project.

After concerns about the project’s impact on the area’s air quality, traffic, groundwater and other issues were raised in the application and in February last year, the Tribunal had suspended the EC by stating that the plan does not appear to be viable.

However, the project was later considered viable by an independent committee set up by the NGT, comprising representatives of the environment ministry, Central Pollution Control Board, IIT-Kanpur, and School of Planning and Architecture, among others.

The applicant had submitted objections to the committee’s report, stating that it included a member who was part of the State body that had granted the EC to the project.

The applicant had also said that some issues were not considered by the committee, including a restriction imposed on all tall buildings in the North Campus area under the Delhi Master Plan 2021.

In its order, the NGT principal bench headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “When we took up the matter for final consideration, senior counsel for the project proponent made a statement that… the project proponent has to apply for fresh EC to the environment ministry and the impugned EC will not be acted upon.”

It added, “Counsel for the appellant states that if the impugned EC is not to be acted upon and the matter is to be considered afresh by the MoEF&CC on merits, the appeal may be disposed of as infructuous, without prejudice to the rights to challenge the fresh EC which may be granted.”

Senior Advocate Dhruv Mehta for project proponent Young Builders said a new EC is required because the layout of the project has been revised as per the new building bylaws. No work can be done on the project site until the new EC is granted, he said.

The NGT bench said in the order, “In view of above stand of the parties, it is no longer necessary for this Tribunal to go into the merits and express any final view about viability of the project or otherwise.”

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