Delhi Government to identify new land for the depot and build infrastructure

The Delhi Government on Thursday informed the Delhi High Court that it has decided to scrap the sprawling Millennium Bus Depot on the Yamuna riverbed along the Nizamuddin bridge and shift to another place.

Though the Government sought one year to complete the demolition and shifting process, Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra directed it to do it in nine months.

During this period, the Government will identify a new land for the depot and build infrastructure for that.

Justice Misra was hearing a contempt petition in the matter. Counsel for the Government submitted that the decision to shift the depot was taken on Wednesday at a meeting held by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, the Delhi Chief Secretary, officials of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and environmentalist Anand Arya.

Mr. Arya and social activist Vinod Kumar Jain had separately filed a petition in the High Court against setting up the bus deport on the riverbed.

Justice Misra later directed the Government to file an affidavit within five days detailing the plans to shift the depot.

Counsel for the Government earlier submitted to the Court a draft of the minutes of the meeting.

The deport was built for a temporary period by the previous Sheila Dikshit Government at a cost of Rs. 60 crore in 2010 ahead of the Commonwealth Games, 2010, for parking DTC buses during the sports event.

In 2012, the High Court had directed the Delhi Government to align use of the land on which the depot was built with the Delhi Master Plan, 2021.

According the Zonal Plan, the Yamuna floodplain can be put to use only for recreational purposes like bio-diversity park or garden, the petitioners had submitted, adding that the construction of concrete structures was totally banned there.

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