Saturday, July 18, 2009

Supreme Court Reserves Judgement on CWG Village PIL

The Supreme Court reserved its verdict on a petition challenging the Delhi High Court judgment of staying the ongoing constructions on the Yamuna river bed for the 2010 Commonwealth games.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrisnan, Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan reserved the judgment after hearing all the parties, including the Union government, delhi Development Authority (DDA) and 2010 CWG organizing committee.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium contended before the court that the construction was not on the river bed and that the Supreme Court had cleared the construction of Akshardham Temple, which according to the authorities was at a distance of 1.7 Km from the river bed and India’s claim for staging 2010 Commonwealth Games will be in jeopardy if the construction stopped at this stage.

Out of 34 towers for the sports complex, 32 were already completed and all requisite clearances had been taken for the concerned agencies including Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Mr. Subramanium also contended that the High Court had erred in interfering with the ongoing constructions for the games on the basis of PIL filed by some vested interests.

Senior counsel Andhiya Rjuna appearing for the organizing committee contended before the court that Rs 2000 crores have already been spend on the construction of about 1100 flats and sports complex meant for athletes from 71 countries who will be participating in the 2010 games, which starts in October next year.

Mr.. Sanjay Parikh appearing for the respondent, however, contended that the ongoing construction was in violation of environmental laws and no construction could be permitted within the vicinity of Yamuna river bank as the river is already dying and this is the main source of water for Delhites.

Mr. Parikh also contended that he was not asking for any interim stay against the ongoing construction. But the expert committee must be permitted to carry on its job of ascertaining whether any construction are permissible in the area and whether it would damage the environment, which may also lead to water crisis in the city in future.

He also contended that he has no objection to the completion of the games but once the games were over this court must consider the report of the expert committee, which it may keep till the games are over.

He also read out from the report of the expert committee of ministry of MES, which had disapproved any construction on the river bed.