HC reserves petition seeking shifting of games village

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (UNI) Delhi High Court today reserved its orders on the petition filed by a public representative seeking shifting of Commonwealth games village venue from the Yamuna river bed area to an alternate place as the permanent structures being built there will damage the ecology of the river.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Rekha Sharma after hearing the arguments from both the petitioners and respondents for more than 10 hearings reserved its order today.

Mr Sanjay Kaul and Mr Rajinder Singh had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Delhi High Court stating that building permanent structures by DDA on the Yamuna river bed for the Commonwealth games village will be a grave environmental threat, therefore, the court should intervene to shift the venue elsewhere.

Mr Sanjay Parikh, the counsel for petitioners, today urged the court to save the river and added that, ''already the government's callous attitude has rendered the river in a pitiable state and any further constructions on the river bed will cause such a damage that there will be no ground water recharge of the river.'' Mr Parikh said that the entire exercise being done by DDA to build flats and sell them at exhorbitant rates, is a commercial exercise without applying their mind on the ecological dirturbances of the river.

He further said that the government is violating all the norms to build the games village there whereas there is ample space available at the Safdarjung airport.

Mr S M Aggarwal, convenor of the Justice Usha Mehra moniteering committee, told the Court that persuant to the court orders the committee had cleared all slums and other constructions within a range of 300 meters on either side of the river over a stretch of 9700 hectares but the games committee has violated the court orders and are building permanent structures on the river bed.

Solicitor General Mr G E Vahanvati had argued that DDA has not violated any court order and building of the games village is in the interest of the nation. Lot of developement will take place in the city during the Commonwealth games and keeping in mind the larger interest, the venue at the bank of river Yamuna was selected.

Besides hearing the arguments at length, the judges had visited the site to inspect the allegations as levelled by the petitioners.

The court today resrved its judgement and will pronounce its orders shortly, however, no date has been fixed yet for the orders.

UNI SNG RAR RN1936

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