SC notice on Delhi-Mumbai expressway being built without environment clearance

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/24/2021 12:16:17 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug 23: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a 4-day notice to the Centre and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for further hearing on August 27 on why it should not stay the speedy construction of the 8-lane Delhi-Mumbai Expressway without the mandatory environment clearance.

Referring to the ongoing construction of a flyover close to the residential colony of Dwarka in the national capital, advocate Prashant Bhushan said the greenery is being destroyed and trees are being uprooted without any permission. The petition has been moved by the residents of the cooperative group housing society of Sector 22-23 and other residents on the flyover being built on the road No 226.

A Bench of Justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Mukesh R Shah initially told the petitioners to urge Delhi High Court for an early hearing instead of one fixed in December, but it agreed to take it up on Bhushan pointing out that the High Court had expressed the view that no permission is required for converting an existing road into a national highway like cutting of trees or public consultation.

On this, Justice Chandrachud said the Apex Court's Bengaluru order is quite clear that the clearance is essential.

The NHAI sped up the construction after the government gave it the target to ready Delhi-Mumbai Expressway by the end of 2023 that will reduce the travel time between the two metropolis from 30 to 12 hours.

The petition alleges that the construction of the flyover alone will result in destruction of about 980 trees and 1500 shrubs.



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