Why Games Village on the river bed?

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) The Government has no conciousness to look into the environmental issues therefore they have decided to build the commonwealth games village on the river bed which will disturb the whole ecology of the area, it was contended in the Delhi High Court today.

This was stated by Mr Sanjay Parikh, lawyer for the petitioner Rajinder singh who opposed the construction of permanant structures on the river Yamuna embankment for the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Urging before the bench of Justices A K Sikri and Rekha Sharma of the Delhi High Court, Mr Parikh contended that the Government had no planning to protect the natural environment. No steps had been taken so far for either building proper embankment or ground water recharge.

He also contended that despite having land at the Safdarjung area, the DDA chose to build the Commonwealth Village on the river bed. The permanant structures built at the river bank would be sold at hefty prices after the Games. Flats were being built by DDA to earn profits and under the guise of Commonwealth Games there was a plan to acquire the whole area to build and sell flats at high prices.

Mr Parikh said the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have also flouted the norms and were constructing their stations, train depots, railway tracks on the river bed.

He suggested the court that if the games village is shifted from the river bed to the Safdarjung area then the Metro project will shift to Anand Vihar which already has the infrastructure for transport.

According to Mr Parikh, despite the recommendations of the experts of the appraisal committee of Environment and Forest Ministry to shift the venue of the sports village near Safdarjung airport, the Government has paid no heed to it and were all set to disturb the ecological balance.

Solicitor General G H Vahanvati had earlier contended that the Government was building the project keeping in mind the larger interest of the Nation, which was the reputation of the government.

Mr Vahanvati suggested the court that any form of monitoring can be undertaken during and after the construction of the Games Village and all steps would be taken to protect the river ecology and to rejuvinate the river.

UNI SNG JT KN2038

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