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Delhi HC issues notice to DDA on PIL challenging change of land use of Park near AIIMS

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The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and others on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to quash the proposed amendment to the master plan 2021 for change in land use of the Park near All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at West Ansari Nagar Campus-Zone, New Delhi.

The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma on Monday sought a response from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Lieutenant Government of Delhi and the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change and fixed the matter for November 24, 2022, for a detailed hearing.

The petitioner Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Tradition and Promotion of National Awareness through Advocates Vikas Kakkar and Amit Dubey stated that a park is a respite for the relatives of the patients, residents living around, commuters, people who come to the area need space to breathe under shades of the trees.

The trees’ canopy not only captures dust particles but acts as a filter for noise pollution, cots free natural air conditioner, effective smog towers and on top of it maintain the ecological balance by maintaining biodiversity and servicing as a water catchment instrument.

It is astonishing that respondents who have been endowed with responsibility for the all-around development of the Delhi state would conceptualize such a misconceived plan for a change of land use and covert the green area i.e. district Park to a concrete hub, submitted lawyers.

The plea stated that surrounding AIIMS, there are several redevelopment colonies namely Neta Ji Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Narouji Nagar, Mohamadpur and Thayagraj Nagar that are coming up.

The entire traffic of all these colonies would lead to the Ring Road – Mahatma Gandhi Road, which is thoroughly congested and clogged at any point time during the day throughout the year. Even the Barapula Road, which was supposed to ease the traffic towards Noida and Ghaziabad remains fully chocked during peak hours.

The area is busiest in its traffic volume from Gurugram to Noida and Ghaziabad, thus, continues to be the most polluted area in Delhi due to heavy traffic congestion throughout the day.

The petition stated that as per recent Newspaper Reports, 77,700 trees were allowed to be cut in the last three years.

This means hourly 3 trees were cut in the Capital City of Delhi, and another 5995 fully trees and an unspecified number of small trees would be sacrificed after destroying the District Park for the redevelopment of AIIMS.

The plea further alleged that despite in know of the fact of the paucity of land for Green areas, at the same time, it is continuously allowing the development of Commercial Properties and changing land use of the Recreational City Parks, District Parks, which were developed in accordance with earlier the Master Plans.

“This raises the basic questions on the proposed construction as proposed and approved in the public notice. Societal good would outweigh the individual interest, no doubt, but in the given circumstances a deed purportedly, being executed for societal good is bound to cause more harm than good. The copies of the newspaper report stating that there is land scarcity for compensatory afforestation in Delhi,” read the plea.

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