Shifting Millennium Bus Depot: NGT asks environment activist to approach panel
The National Green Tribunal has directed an environment activist to approach a Monitoring Committee, constituted by it, on his plea seeking shifting of Millennium Bus Depot as it was located on Yamuna flood plains.
The National Green Tribunal has directed an environment activist to approach a Monitoring Committee, constituted by it, on his plea seeking shifting of Millennium Bus Depot as it was located on Yamuna floodplains.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel asked activist Anand Arya to put his grievance before the two-member panel comprising former Chief Secretary Shailaja Chandra and expert member B S Sajwan.
The green panel on July 26 had formed the committee to constantly monitor on a day-to-day basis the cleaning of the Yamuna river.
"It is undisputed that only issue which remains open for consideration is whether DTC Millennium Depot is on the river bed of the Yamuna.
"Since the issue concerning river beds of the Yamuna have already been dealt with by the tribunal in Manoj Mishra vide order dated July 26, 2018, a monitoring committee has been constituted which is seized of the entire issue arising out of orders of this tribunal with regard to the Yamuna river beds, no further order is necessary on this application," the bench said.
The matter was transferred to the green panel by the Supreme Court in April last year 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 earlier said that ordering demolition of the bus depot would not be appropriate and had granted one year to the Delhi government and the 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 the 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 the Nizamuddin Bridge and behind IP Power Station.
The apex court had noted that a chance was given by the high court keeping in view the submission of the Delhi government and the DTC that the "bus depot was constructed to serve greater public purpose; the area in question was, as a matter of fact, not falling on the river bed; and there was no threat to environment or ecology in having the bus depot at the given site".
The DTC and the Delhi government had challenged the high court's 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 DDA had told the court that change in land use was not possible as 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 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 an 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 the land use of the site and there was "no justifiable reason" now for further extension.
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