Although it has already notified the unified building bye-laws, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has informed a bench headed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairperson, justice Swatanter Kumar that it will not implement the environment clearance clauses, till the union environment ministry approves them.
“Counsel appearing for the DDA, on instruction from the director of planning, submits that the DDA has already notified the unified building bye-laws. However, the chapter on environment conditions for sanctioning building plans, would not be put into practice/implemented till the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, gives its approval/concurrence,” the bench also comprising RS Rathore said.
The submission came in response to a plea challenging the government’s decision in this regard, alleging that the latest building bye-laws would ‘dilute and exempt’ prior environment clearance for buildings and construction projects.
The green panel also directed the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), to consider the objections of the applicant before issuing the final notification, so that the unified building bye-laws are not in conflict with the EIA (environmental impact assessment) Notification, 2006.
The plea, filed by the NGO, ‘Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity’, claimed that these bye-laws ‘seek to defeat and do away with the provisions of EIA notification 2006, relating to the requirement of an environmental clearance by buildings and construction projects’.
The NGO had claimed that the unified building bye-laws for Delhi, as notified by the DDA, were “illegal and liable to be set aside to the extent that the same provide for the exemption of environment clearance for building and construction of areas, which are more than 20,000 sq metres and less than 150,000 sq metres in the area of Delhi” under the authority’s jurisdiction.