NGT asks DTTDC to get environment clearance for a Delhi bridge

National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday directed Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation (DTTDC) to obtain environmental clearance for a new bridge across river Yamuna under construction at Wazirabad here.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 12, 2015, 21:45 PM IST

New Delhi: National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday directed Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation (DTTDC) to obtain environmental clearance for a new bridge across river Yamuna under construction at Wazirabad here.

Holding that it would not be in public interest to order demolition as a major portion of the bridge has already been completed, it directed that all steps needed to prevent any adverse effect on the environment should be undertaken.

'Signature Bridge', which is over 80 per cent complete, is being built at a cost of Rs 1,131 crore as a replica of the famous London Bridge, with bow-shaped pylon and cables.

DTTDC is executing the eight-lane project which has a total area of 1,55,260 sq mtrs connecting Eastern and Western parts of Delhi.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar held that the 'Signature Bridge' fell under Schedule 8(b) of Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, relating to buildings, construction and development projects which are mandated to get prior environmental clearance.

"We direct DTTDC to obtain environmental clearance for the project in question. Such application would be submitted within a period of three weeks from the pronouncement of this Judgment," the bench, also comprising Justice M S Nambiar and expert members Devendra Kumar Agrawal and Professor A R Yousuf, said.

In its judgement, the NGT also held that since a major part of the project has already been completed, directing demolition was not in public interest.

"However, we direct State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to put such terms and conditions as may be necessary to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on environment, ecology, biodiversity and environmental flow of River Yamuna and its floodplain," the bench said.

The direction's came on a plea filed by environment activist Vikrant Kumar Tongad challenging the construction of 'Signature Bridge' on the ground that work was being carried on without prior environmental clearance.

In his petition, Tongad claimed that if the construction work was allowed to continue without impact assessment and environmental clearance, it would cause large-scale damage to the environment and affect the flow of the river.