Staff Reporter

To study the effects of construction on the Yamuna riverbed

4-member panel to be headed by R. K. Pachauri

To submit report within four months

NEW DELHI: Questioning the bona fides of the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on their shifting stands over the construction of the Commonwealth Games Village along the Yamuna riverbed in East Delhi, the Delhi High Court on Monday constituted an expert committee to go into the whole gamut of issues before it.

Pronouncing judgment on petitions by Magsaysay Award winner Rajendra Singh, better known as “Waterman”, and social activist V. K. Jain questioning the raising of concrete constructions in the riverbed, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice Rekha Sharma said the four-member committee would be headed by prominent environmentalist R. K. Pachauri.

The committee will study the ongoing or completed or proposed constructions on the land in dispute and whether they or any of them in whole or part affect or are likely to affect adversely in any manner the ecology of the riverbed or its ecology, its groundwater recharge ability or violate in any manner the doctrine of public trust. It will submit its report to the Court within four months of its constitution.

The Court said the committee would give reasonable opportunities to the parties concerned to submit their opinions before finalising its report. It also made it clear that all the constructions would be subject to such directions as may be made by it on the receipt of interim or final report from the Committee.