New Delhi (Metro Rail News): The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has stopped the ongoing works on the Janakpuri West-Peeragarhi stretch under Phase-4 after the forest department accused it of violating the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
“We have stopped work on the Janakpuri West – Peeragarhi stretch and will resume work after all mandatory approvals are met,” Anuj Dayal, Executive Director (Corporate Communications), DMRC, was reported saying.
According to the Deputy Conservator of Forests, West Division, the DMRC did not have requisite permissions to undertake work on a 5.34-km stretch of Road Number 26 between Vikas Puri and Peeragarhi Chowk and a 1,300-meter square portion of the Najafgarh drain, which are deemed forest areas.
Multiple notices were issued in February and August, asking the DMRC “not to carry out any construction work on the portion of Road Number 26 and Najafgarh drain”, according to the forest department.
The forest department had filed a violation report with the Union Environment Ministry, alleging severe damage to trees due to the DMRC work at the two locations. It has also filed complaints at Vikas Puri and Mianwali police stations regarding the matter.
However, the DMRC claimed that “the issue of deemed forest came up only in August” and the same was never pointed out by the forest department in any of the visits conducted.
“The location of the same (deemed forest) is also not established through any authenticated record. It is being established through Google Earth images only, wherein the exact location of the 5.34 kilometres is not known. It may be outside the DMRC alignment as well,” it said.
The DMRC said it would be happy to cooperate if there is further clarity on this issue.