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Issue 6
July , 2007
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Clearance to Commonwealth Games Village illegal: Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan

Source: Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, Date: July , 2007

A grouping of citizens and civil society organisations, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan (YJA), has alleged that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has gone ahead with the plans to build the Coomonwealth Games Village on the Yamuna riverbed overriding serious concerns expressed by the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that studied the proposal in 2006.

“The MoEF has been cajoled, tricked and browbeaten into diluting the conditions of environment clearance. Since the due process of law has been short circuited on extraneous considerations like lack of time and ‘false’ national interest, the clearance as it exists is illegal and liable to be quashed as being unfair, unbiased and contrary to the requirements of public safety and interest,” alleged Manoj Kumar Misra, Convenor of YJA.

Construction activity on yamuna riverbedWhen the Expert Appraisal Committee made a site visit in November 2006, it raised a number of environmental issues that the DDA has still not resolved, claimed Mr. Misra. “The Committee had concerns about the location of the project in the river floodplain, the creation of efflux in the river during high floods, the interference with recharge of ground water, the adverse effect of filling flyash over the project site as well as the high traffic density indicated by the project. The Committee also suggested that the DDA find an alternate site, but it didn’t even consider that,” charged Mr. Misra.

Racing against time to build the Games Village before 2010, the DDA is alleged to have “pressed hard” and managed to bulldoze all the concerns under the guise of national interest, said Mr. Misra.

“The Committee accorded the DDA environmental clearance under strict compliance of terms and conditions. Subsequently all these concerns seemed to have been watered down – with clearances given – and the file notings indicate that things went down hill from here,” claimed Misra.