A sprawling residential complex being constructed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and a temporary bus shelter built by the Delhi Transport Corporation were inspected by the Delhi Urban Arts Commission on Wednesday. These buildings, ostensibly with “permissions”, have come up on the Yamuna riverbed, a restricted site for concrete constructions.
The residential complex being built by the DMRC has incidentally come up on a piece of land that was cleared of over 400 shanties under the pretext that the slums were encroaching upon the river bed.
“This (the residential complex) is Delhi’s equivalent of the infamous Aadarsh housing society of Mumbai. It has come up in violation of laws and without any clearances and needs to be thoroughly probed,” said Manoj Misra convenor of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, a non government organisation that has been drawing attention tok the rules that have been flouted in constructing this building.
Based on the YJA’s complaints and the news report published in The Hindu, a team of DUAC officials visited the riverbed to examine the constructions including the bus shelter set up by the Delhi Transport Corporation Limited and the residential complex of the DMRC.
“The land on which the complex with over a 100 flats is coming up is marked as ‘green land’. The land use for this site does not allow construction. The land belongs to the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department and they had made it evident that the land use allows only greening and no construction can be allowed without obtaining permission for change of land use. The DMRC has not approached the DDA for change of land use and the construction is on in full swing,” said Mr. Misra.
While DUAC officials declined to comment, sources said the DMRC will have a lot of explaining to do. “The complex does not have the mandatory clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and from the DUAC as well. The structure can very well be demolished, because it is illegal. The site on which is stands has been shown as a green area in the Masterplan as well,” said a source.
Mr. Misra who is also fighting for the removal of the temporary bus shelter that was meant to be dismantled after the Commonwealth Games got over, added: “The DMRC had the permission to construct only a yard, alignment and a station (the Yamuna Bank Metro station) on the land, but they are going ahead with the construction of a depot and a residential complex as well. When the DDA sold them the land, it was only for the yard, alignment and station.”
Senior architect Kuldip Singh who has been shown as the architect on the drawings for the complex said he is no longer associated with the project. “I was working with the DMRC for the yard, but am no longer associated with it and therefore, cannot comment on whether the clearances have been received or rules violated,” he said.
For its part the DMTRC maintained that no norms have been flouted. A spokesperson said: “We have all the required clearances and the certifications that are needed. The land was given for constructing a depot for Line 3 and 4, Yamuna Bank Metro Station and staff quarters for the operations and maintenance staff.”