The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Delhi Assembly, on Friday, found “serious irregularities” on the part of the NBCC in redevelopment of three colonies in the national capital. The PAC’s members on Friday inspected three project sites at Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Kidwai Nagar being redeveloped by the NBCC.
The inspection comes against the backdrop of a controversy over proposed felling of around 14,000 trees for redevelopment of seven colonies in south Delhi.
The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry had yesterday said that no tree would be cut for redevelopment of seven colonies in south Delhi. In its preliminary report, the PAC has said that the NBCC adopted a “casual attitude” towards the health of residents of Delhi while executing these projects.
When contacted, the NBCC spokesperson declined to comment, saying the the PAC’s proceedings are “confidential in nature”. The panel was accompanied by officers of the Delhi forest department, Ministry of Urban Development and NBCC.
Sources said that the committee found that the NBCC felled 1,302 trees in Nauroji Nagar and there was no compensatory plantation against the obligatory 14,650 saplings that should have been planted. “As per the NGT order of September 2017, Raghunath Jha Vs MoUD, the NBCC was obligated to plant 14,650 compensatory plants before cutting any tree,” the panel’s report said.
“The transplanted trees at the project site appeared too have been planted just a night before the committee inspection,” the report stated.
According to the report, in Kidwai Nagar, the committee found that the construction which had been going on for the last four years was almost complete and around 1,600 trees were cut down by the NBCC.
It also stated that in Netaji Nagar, 224 trees have already been felled by the NBCC, which was obligated to plant 24,900 trees before cutting any tree.
“The user agency NBCC was obligated to provide land for compensatory plantation, however, 14.65 hectares of land in Garhi Mandu in Yamuna flood plains between the under-construction Signature Bridge and Wazirabad Barrage, 21.45 hectares land at the same location has not yet been handed over by the DDA to the Delhi Forest Department,” the report stated.
It stated that this was the duty of the NBCC to ensure that the land was handed over to the Delhi Forest Department and the compensatory plantation was completed before felling of even a single tree as per the orders of the NGT.
“In view of the committee, the NBCC has committed serious irregularities and has displayed a casual attitude towards the health of residents of Delhi,” it stated. The committee will deliberate on this serious issue and will come out with a detailed report very soon.