Days after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) informed the Delhi High Court that the land use of the ‘O’ zone Yamuna riverbed could not be changed to allow the Millennium bus depot to continue at its current location, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has alleged that the DDA was “changing its stand”.
In its affidavit filed before the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath Monday, the DTC said nearly 25 per cent of its entire fleet was operating from the controversial 50-acre site.
It also said the Delhi government had apprised the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) that “operating buses from an alternate place would result in dead/non-remunerative mileage, causing environmental pollution besides extra financial burden on the exchequer”.
The corporation said, “Since the MoUD is seized of the matter, the somersault taken by the DDA apparently is contrary to its instructions.”
The court has adjourned the matter for further hearing on October 12.
The DDA had recently told the court that change in land use was not possible as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had prohibited construction in areas demarcated as zone ‘O’, and that the depot fell in such a zone.
The DDA also alleged that the corporation did not obtain a no-objection certificate from the MoUD or Land and Development Office (L&DO), with regard to ownership of the site.
To this, the transport corporation replied, “Barring the NOC from L&DO, all other clearances required to be fulfilled are only in the form of safeguards to take care of the environmental clearances.”
The DTC has sought six more months to change the land use of the area. It has also alleged that the DDA had not given the “correct picture” regarding the allotment of “alternate” land for shifting of the depot, as the government had — on instructions from the NGT — asked for 500 acres to create new bus depots in the city.