New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to DDA on DTC’s plea to approach the land owing agency to “extend the time for change of land use of Millennium Bus Depot by another six months” as the Delhi government has decided not to vacate the site.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sought response from Delhi Development Corporation (DDA) by September 14 on the plea of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
The DTC sought direction to DDA to change land use of the depot land so that the temporary construction on “O” zone can be made permanent according to the master plan.
The bus depot, built at a cost of Rs.60 crore for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Yamuna river bed, is to be used for parking buses by changing the land use, the DTC told the court.
In the Aam Aadmi Party’s first stint, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal cited environmental concerns to order relocation of DTC’s fleet of buses from the depot but now his government has reversed its stand in its second stint because of “changed scenario”.
The DTC said in spite of best efforts, alternative plots to shift the complete fleet from Millennium Depot have not been made available yet, while more buses are being added to the fleet for which additional parking space is required.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also directed the DTC to augment its fleet for which more space is required from DDA.
“In view of the changed scenario requiring DTC to augment its fleet by adding more buses, more space is needed. Existing space needs to be protected,” the plea said.
Last year in January, DTC first undertook in high court to relocate the depot to another location, admitting that the entire exercise will cost “Rs.300 crore”. Assuring the court it will abide by the AAP government’s stand, the corporation in an affidavit had sought nine months to finish the relocation.
Later it revised the estimate to 20-26 months even as hectic consultation began with DDA over identifying fresh spots to relocate the depot. The DDA has already handed over plots at Narela, Rohini and Sarai Kale Khan to DTC for this purpose.
In his PIL, environmentalist Anand Arya had opposed the depot being constructed on the floodplains, which had been earmarked in the master plan for recreational use, including a biodiversity park.