SC sends notice to NHAI on plea to stay construction of Dwarka Expressway flyover

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], August 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on a plea seeking a stay of construction activity of Dwarka Expressway flyover in the national capital.

A Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah sought response from the NHAI and other parties in the case by Friday.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioners -- two groups of housing societies and individual residents of Sector 22 and 23 of Dwarka -- told the Bench that the construction activity is going on day and night, without mandatory clearances.

The apex court said that it will examine the issue after Bhushan said that NHAI is continuing with the workday and night, and by the time the court will hear the plea, irreversible damage will be done.

"The NHAI is building an already constructed small road which passes through densely populated colonies and has six schools on its periphery," Bhushan contended, adding that neither have they held any public consultation, nor did they have any environmental clearances, and they are felling trees even after the permission granted to do so lapsed.

Originally, the petition was filed by residents and housing societies before the Delhi High Court saying that the necessary approvals or environmental clearances were not taken.

The High Court on July 30 had rejected their plea which sought directions to NHAI to place on record all mandatory permissions/approvals obtained by it for carrying out construction.

Bhushan argued in the apex court that the Delhi High Court has erred in its finding and allowed the construction to go on, saying that it was not a new road hence, no new clearances are required.

The residents and housing societies then approached the top court in an appeal seeking directions against the NHAI and its contractor not to continue any construction or cutting/removal of trees at the location in Dwarka at DDA Road No. 226, Sector 22 and 23.

They contended before the apex court that the right of the petitioners to a clean, healthy and peaceful environment cannot be curtailed in any manner, except according to the procedure established by law.

The appeal stated that the unauthorised and unapproved construction carried would lead to an exponential increase in traffic, air and noise pollution, and traffic bottlenecks for the petitioners.

Seeking direction to restraint, the NHAI, from going ahead with the construction activity in the interregnum, the plea in the apex court said, "The construction will drastically reduce green cover for the residential area as, in order to construct flyover, the trees on the main road which provide much needed fresh air, would have to be cut down." (ANI)

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