Attacking both the Congress and the BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the project to redevelop Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar began at a time when present Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken was the Urban Development (UD) minister, and that it was later to revamped by the BJP government — while ignoring the environmental impact on the capital.
The redevelopment project by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) Limited has been at the eye of a political storm over permission granted to fell over 14,000 trees.
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the project had been envisioned by the Congress and then “repackaged by the Modi government as a smart city” — despite “Aman Lekhi, husband of BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, filing a petition in the Delhi High Court in 2014 against the project due to its environmental impact”. “In 2006, the redevelopment of Netaji Nagar and Moti Bagh was planned when Maken was UD minister. Today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has stood against the same redevelopment plan,” he said.
Responding to AAP’s claim, Maken said, “The project that Bhardwaj is talking about — redevelopment of Netaji Nagar (part) and Moti Bagh East — was started in 2006 and completed in 2012, without any controversy. Permission for the current project was not granted under my tenure. Secondly, the debate is not if redevelopment of colonies should be done or not… but on whether trees should be cut or not.”
“There is a note in the public domain, which I have tweeted as well, which clearly shows that the approval was signed and countersigned by Kejriwal’s Environment Minister and Narendra Modi-appointed L-G. This ends all debates on who gave permission for felling of trees,” added Maken.
Attacking the BJP and present UD minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Bhardwaj said that although the Centre has claimed that redevelopment was done for residential purpose, brochures “prove that it was done for commercial purpose”.
Bhardwaj attacked Puri and asked “why the land use was changed from residential to commercial”, and if public hearing was done for the same. “The BJP and Congress should clarify if their Central Govt’s planned this redevelopment project which is disastrous for the environment of Delhi,” he said.