SC issues notice to NHAI on construction of Dwarka Expressway flyover | India News

SC issues notice to NHAI on construction of Dwarka Expressway flyover | India News

NEW DELHI: Construction of Dwarka Expressway flyover in Dwarka’s Sector 22-23. has come under judicial scanner with the Supreme Court on Monday agreeing to hear Resident associations plea alleging the highways authority was “illegally” building the flyover on road without obtaining mandatory clearance permission from the concerned authority.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah granted an early hearing and listed it for Friday after advocate Anand Varma, who filed the petition on behalf of two group housing societies, alleged that the full fledged constructions going on and irreversible damage to environment would be done if not stayed. The court thereafter issued a notice to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) seeking its response.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, said NHAI is building an already constructed small road which passes through densely populated colonies and has six schools on its periphery. He contended that the NHAI did not hold any public consultation, it did not get any environmental clearances and trees were being cut even after the permission granted to do so lapsed.
“It is noteworthy that both NH-248BB and NH-344M were already existing highways which were then declared as National Highways under Section 2(2) of the NH Act 1956. However, for reasons best known to NHAI, due procedure for obtaining Environmental Clearance (complete with determination of detailed Terms of Reference and organisation of Public Hearings or Public Consultations) has only been followed for NH-344M, but not for NH-248BB which, allegedly, covers DDA Road No. 226 in Sectors 22 and 23, Dwarka,” the petition said..
The association moved SC after its plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court. Challenging the order of HC, the petitioner said that HC 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 high court had on July 30, rejected the plea of residents and housing societies seeking directions to NHAI to place on record all mandatory permissions/ approvals obtained by it for carrying out construction on a residential road, DDA Road No 226 in Sectors 22-23, Dwarka in the national capital.
The petition alleged that the high court was wrong in accepting NHAI”s contention that the expressway is not a new National Highway and thus exempted from obtaining mandatory prior Environmental Clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006.
“Whether a new interstate national highway, which includes construction of a flyover across a populous residential area, can be developed without requiring prior Environmental Clearance in terms of Item 7(f) of the Schedule to the EIA Notification 2006 as amended till date and also without requiring prior mandatory consent orders under
the Water Act and the Air Act?” the petition said while pleading the apex court to adjudicate these contentious issues.

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