New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday gave green signal to project relating to re-development of Kidwai Nagar (East), directing that there must also be strict implementation of the traffic parking and other measures that are suggested by Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure Planning and Engineering Centre (UTTIPEC) in this regard and also asked respondent National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to ensure that the compensatory tree plantation is completely carried out.
While passing the judgement, a single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla said: "This case highlights again the constant fight between development and environment. While the respondents argue for development, the petitioners argue for the environment."
"It is an established principle of law that Right to Life as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to a clean environment. The right to live with human dignity becomes illusionary in the absence of a healthy environment."
"However, said rights are not absolute and have to co-exist with sustainable development (M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India and Ors., 2018 SCC Online SC 2122). Therefore, a balance has to be achieved between urban development and ecology and requirements of development, " the Court said.
A single-Judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla said: "While the project cannot be faulted at the sanction stage, the respondents are directed to ensure a time-bound and expeditious completion of the projects that have been highlighted by it and mentioned hereinabove. There must also be strict implementation of the measures that are suggested by UTTIPEC in this regard."
However, the Court directed to ensure that due to lack of parking space in the colony, vehicles are not parked outside on the main or the arterial roads. It also noted that Delhi Police affidavit and submissions which has assured of such measures being taken.
"Strict policing and zero tolerance to violation should, therefore, be a norm to be followed in the vicinity of this Project, " the Court said.
NBCC had submitted that with the availability of Metro near the Project; "walk to work" concept has been adopted, which would encourage lesser use of private vehicles by the residents of the colony.
NBCC has also explained that 256 flats in the colony have been allotted to the organizations who have taken the space in the office complex, which will ensure that these officers at least would not have to use private vehicles to commute to their offices. These organisations have also been allotted 416 number of parking slots. Effort should be made to encourage these organisations to also reduce footfall of general public; incentivizing their workforce to use pooled modes of transport; use of public transport facilities and other means of ensuring a lesser number of private vehicles visiting the Project, NBCC apprised the Court.
"In the present judgment, it has been found that there is an excess space earmarked for commercial purpose. Direction has been issued for the Authorities to consider if the same can be regularized. The
Authorities are directed to also consider the issue of parking of vehicles and effect thereof while considering the issue of regularization, " the Court said.
The Court also said that there is indeed a shortfall in the compensatory tree plantation by the respondent NBCC.
"It is, therefore, directed that before handing over of the possession of the commercial/office block to the allottees, the respondent no. 19 (NBCC) shall ensure that the compensatory tree plantation is completely carried out, " the court said.
With these directions, the court disposed of the petition filed by Advocate Aman Lekhi and others seeking appropriate remedy in accordance with the law on issues pertaining to re-development of Kidwai Nagar (East).
The petitioners were represented by advocates Manali Singhal, along with Santosh Sachin, Deepak S. Rawat and Aanchal Kapoor.
Advocate Akshay Makhija was appearing for Centre and lawyer Naushad Ahmed Khan has represented Delhi Government in the matter.
Senior Advocate Pinky Anand with lawyers Manoj K. Das, Kirti Dua, Akshita Goyal, Sumit Teterwal, and Shailesh Singh appeared for NBCC.
Senior Counsel for the NBCC has submitted that the Project has admittedly obtained all the approvals in accordance with the law and since the redevelopment is almost complete and a majority of the occupancy has already been handed over to various flat owners who are currently residing in the complex, the Project warrants no interference by this Court.
The Court in its 96-page judgement also mentioned William Dalrymple's book the City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi.
"Right from the city of Lal Kot founded by Tomar rulers in 786AD to the present state, Delhi has been built and re-built. In fact, William Dalrymple, author of "City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi" writes in the prologue - "Just as the Hindus believe that a body (sic) will be reincarnated over and over again until it becomes perfect, so it seemed
Delhi was destined to appear in a new incarnation century after century, "the order copy reads. (ANI)