NEW DELHI: A joint committee, comprising experts from Central Pollution Control Board, IIT-Delhi and Delhi Pollution Control Committee, has found that the proposed project for constructing a commercial tower with four floors at Bhikaji Cama Place by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation “seems reasonable and viable on environmental accounts.” The panel had conducted an environment impact assessment (EIA) and carrying capacity studies.

National Green Tribunal in August last year had said that EIA and carrying capacity studies should be conducted before the construction begins above Bhikaji Cama Place Metro Station. The proposed project is a commercial tower having four floors above ground floor with a total built-up area to the tune of 18,436 square metres.

The joint committee, which recently submitted its report on the project to NGT, said as the proposed project is a commercial complex only having visitors or employees, it is not expected to result in an increase in the population of the area. The report (a copy is with TOI) said the impact of air pollution generated at the project site on the nearby residential colonies and on the traffic pattern of the area would be marginal. The committee in its report observed that figures on water demand would exert marginal increase on the existing water supply system of the area.

A plea filed in the green tribunal had opposed the project and alleged that “the proposed construction of a commercial complex above the underground Bhikaji Cama Place Metro Station by the DMRC was designated as district park/green belt as per the Delhi Master Plan, 2021. In 2012, some open land (district park) was transferred to the DMRC, which was to be redeveloped after completion of the construction work. Construction work has been completed but instead of redeveloping the park, the DMRC has proposed to develop it as commercial complex against the environment norms and public trust doctrine requiring the park to be maintained as such.”

However, DMRC had responded saying that the land allotted was subject to land-use change for which an application had been moved to Delhi Development Authority. The report said the approval from DDA for land use change was yet to be received. The report shows that clearances and NOCs from other agencies for layout plan, sewerage, water supply, etc, are awaited.

In its report, the committee recommended that the project proponent must ensure that all necessary permission or approvals are obtained and valid. “An undertaking may be submitted that no groundwater will be extracted during the construction phase. Before dewatering (if needed) during construction, NOC may also be obtained from the District Advisory Committee on Ground Water. During construction and occupancy phase of the project, all environmental norms and proposed mitigation measures should be strictly adhered to by the project proponent,” recommended the committee.

The committee said in the report that the recommendations would be withdrawn or cancelled automatically in case size of the project was enhanced or proposed mitigation measures were not implemented.



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