New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today directed the DDA to file a compliance report with regard to the Supreme Court order on change of land use of Millennium Bus Depot site on Yamuna flood plains.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to file a detailed reply on the issue within a week.
The apex court had earlier this year noted that the NGT was still to decide whether the site was located on the flood plains of Yamuna.
“As and when the matter gets adjudicated, and in case it is found that the site is in the flood plains, the Master Plan could be amended to permit use of the Millennium depot.
Subject to such alteration in the Master Plan, the depot shall not be used for any other purpose,” it had said.
Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for the DDA, today submitted before the NGT bench that the authority has requisite powers to change the land use but the NGT had prohibited construction in areas demarcated as zone ‘O’ (river and water-body area) and the site fell in such a zone.
The bench, however, asked him to file the reply with regard to the top court’s order in a week and posted the matter for hearing on August 8.
Earlier, the tribunal had issued notices to the AAP government and the DDA on a plea filed by an environment activist seeking shifting of the bus depot as it is located on Yamuna flood plains.
The matter was transferred to the green panel by the Supreme Court in April on the grounds that there cannot be “parallel proceedings” on the same issue.
The 50-acre depot was built on the river bank initially as a temporary depot during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, with a parking space for around 1,000 buses along with various facilities, including five workshop-cum-scanning centres, a logistics centre and two CNG-filling stations.
The apex court had last year said that ordering the demolition of the bus depot would not be appropriate and had granted one year to the Delhi government and DTC to get the 2021 Master Plan amended, failing which it would have to shift the bus shelter from the Yamuna river banks.
The apex court had said an opportunity was given by the Delhi High Court to the Delhi government and DTC in October 2015 to have the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 amended, if it was permissible in law, within six months.
The high court had refused to extend the time to the authorities to shift the bus depot, situated next to Nizamuddin Bridge and behind IP Power Station.
The DTC and the Delhi government had challenged the high court decision dismissing the transporter’s plea for grant of six months to approach the DDA to change the land use of the Millennium Bus Depot site.
The high court had on October 20, 2015 shot down the DTC’s plea on the issue, saying it was an abuse of the court process to seek extension of time after undertaking to shift it.
The high court had also said that it had in 2012 given six months to either shift the depot or change land use of the site and there was “no justifiable reason” for further extension.