The Delhi High Court has cancelled the permission granted to Tata Camelot Housing Project as the area over which the project is to be constructed forms part of the catchment area of Sukhna Lake.
A bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini held that the Survey of India map dated 21.09.2004, demarcating the boundaries of catchment area of Sukhna Lake, is binding on the state of Punjab and Tata HDCL. The court also set aside the environmental clearance granted to the project.
Lawyer Aalok Jagga had approached Punjab and Haryana High Court against the grant of approval by various authorities to the Tata housing project near Sukhna Lake.
Against the order of the high court dismissing his petition, he approached the Supreme Court, which set aside the order and transferred the petition to Delhi High Court, on the ground that the beneficiaries of the project under challenge include some judges of that high court and top bureaucrats of the state.
The PIL had alleged that the project is in violation of the provisions of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, and it is not authorised under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, since the same lies in an eco-sensitive and protected area.
It was also contended that it is in close proximity to the Sukhna Wild Life Sanctuary and has the potential of adversely affecting the claim of Chandigarh to the status of a heritage city, a matter which is pending before the world body concerned.
The court, however, clarified that, if re-consideration by the state of Punjab is in favour of Tata HDCL, it can apply to the Central government for environmental clearance treating the project as a category 'A' project.
Read the Judgment here.