New Delhi [India], Aug 13 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to deposit an environmental compensation of Rs 50 lakh with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for allegedly damaging stormwater drains on the Samalkha-Dwarka Road.
Justice Navin Chawla, in its August 10's order, directed DDA to pay environmental compensation within a period of two weeks.
The court also issued notice to DPCC, seeking its response on DDA plea and listed the matter for November 20, 2020.
The court was hearing DDA plea challenging imposing of an environmental damage compensation of Rs 50 lakh against it for allegedly damaging the stormwater drains installed on the Samalkha-Dwarka Road in south-west Delhi.
DDA, in a plea filed through advocate Deeksha L Kakar has sought the quashing of the Impugned Communication dated 10.07.2020 issued by the DPCC, imposing Environmental Compensation of Rs. 50,00,000 upon it.
DDA has said the DPCC decision imposing the Environmental Damage Compensation in the sum of Rs 50,00,000 against the authority under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 read with the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, was "illegal, arbitrary and unreasonable".
DPCC has held DDA responsible for damaging the Environment (Ground Water Quality) in the stormwater drains installed on the Samalkha-Dwarka Road.
DDA said that the impugned communication dated 10.07.2020 is patently illegal, unsustainable, without application of mind, arbitrary, without merit and unconstitutional and liable to be quashed.
"The Impugned Communication is ultra vires of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 ["the Environment Act"] read with the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 ["the Water Act"]. It is respectfully submitted that it is settled law that unless there is a specific provision in the statute enabling the authority to levy a penalty, it cannot levy any penalty or damages with reference to the general powers provided under the Act," read the petition.
DDA submitted that neither the Environment Act nor the Water Act provides for a specific power enabling the DPCC to impose a penalty or compensation of such nature and no justification has been given for the quantification of the exorbitant amount of rupees fifty lakhs levied on the DDA.
The civic body also submitted that the authority has no control over the area in question, i.e. the Samalkha T-Point to Bharthal road, i.e. Urban Extension Road (UER-II) and the primary responsibility of disposal of the waste/surplus sewage flow discharge beyond the boundary wall of each complex on the road, is of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Jal Board. (ANI)