[Mass Transit System In Delhi NCR's Forest Area]: SC Gives Green Signal To NCTRC For Construction Of Rail Transit Line Viaduct
The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) to construct a railway line viaduct in the statutory forest area (extending to 1 acre) of Millenium Park in Delhi.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramiun modified its order of 1996 by which the Top Court had refused permissions to initiate development in the said area and allowed the application filed on behalf of the Union seeking construction of a rapid rail transit system viaduct.
Senior Advocate ASG Atmaram Nandkarni apprised the bench of the importance of the development works. Taking note of the same, CJI Bobde led bench allowed his prayer seeking modification of its 1996 order.
CJI: "We consider it appropriate to grant the application for the same. We modify the order dated Match 1 1996. We permit the construction of Delhi-Panipat Corridor etc. over an area of 1 acre in what is known as the Millenium Park."
The Court was hearing an application filed in the case of Dr.B.L.Wadehra vs Union Of India & Ors which was filed for purposes of managing municipal solid waste in 1994. In this case, a petition was moved under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by an advocate seeking directions to the MCD and the NDMC to perform their statutory duties in particular the collection, removal and disposal of garbage and other waste.
It is pertinent to mention that on March 1, 1996, the Top Court's bench comprising Justice Kuldip Singh had banned the use of forest areas for development works. The bench had directed,
"The MCD shall not use the filled-up SLFs for any other purpose except forestry. There are twelve such sites including Rajiv Gandhi Smriti Van. We direct the MCD to develop forests and gardens on these 12 sites. The work of afforestation shall be undertaken by the MCD with effect from April 1, 1996. An affidavit shall be filed by the end of April indicating the progress made in this respect"
With the modification of the said order, the NCRTC has been given a green signal to construct the Delhi-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat corridors as part of mass rapid transit system for Delhi NCR.
The mass rapid transit system will counteract the distance between Delhi & Panipat to a mere 45 minutes. The distance of the corridor is expected to extend for up to 111 kms with 88.7 kms of the like being in Haryana and the remaining in Delhi. Further to this, the highway will also give way to a rapid railway line which shall run parallel to the corridors.