Thursday, December 18, 2008

SC allows construction at 2010 Games site

SC allows construction at 2010 Games siteThe Supreme Court (SC) on Monday lengthened the stay on a Delhi high court judicial decision constituting a committee to evaluate the perceived harmful ecologic affect of the building of 1,100 flats, allegedly on the Yamuna bed, for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

It would also analyze the validity of the four-member committee, headed by environmental scientist RK Pachauri to assess the adverse impact on the environment, it added. On November 3, the HC refused to approve the construction and appointed a committee to assess the perceived adverse ecological impact of the project.

A bench of chief justices KG Balakrishnan and P Sathasivam extended the stay till the third week of January 2009 as the government's organising committee argued that if any restriction were to be imposed on the construction, it would lead to over 71 countries claiming damages from the Delhi government and the panel.

However, Tapas, an NGO, in its appeal said that apart from construction activities related to the Games, authorities have also been alleged permitting other illegal construction on the riverbed.
The game organising committee lawyer, additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam submitted that the government had spent Rs30,000 crore on building infrastructure like flyovers and roads for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

On December 5 last, the SC stayed the November 3 HC order after the solicitor general Goolam E Vahanvati assailed the judgment on the ground that it would "jeopardise" the conduct of the Games for which crores of rupees had already been invested.

Vahanvati added HC had erroneously concluded that the construction was being carried out on the riverbed and disregarded and ignored voluminous scientific literature and opinion of experts.
HC had, refrained from staying the construction activity, but made it clear that any structure which has been built or will be constructed would be subject to its final order.