NEW DELHI: Don’t construct big projects in overcrowded Delhi – this is the directive of the apex wildlife panel of India, which has expressed concern over increasing pollution levels in the capita
The standing committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), which is the apex wildlife body headed by environment minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, gave this directive while considering wildlife clearance for construction of Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Science (CAPFIMS), 200 metres from Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary. In its September 4 meeting, the standing committee observed that the project was not specific to the capital city and wondered why it could not have been planned i in a B-class city.
“The project is not specific to the capital city and it is for the personnel of the armed police force from different parts of the country. Delhi is already over populated and suffers from the increasing pollution load. Construction of such institute may result into visit of personnel of arm forces, their relatives. As a result, the traffic on Delhi roads, pollution in air and the waste on ground will further increase the existing pollution level. This will add to traffic and environmental burden to a highly polluted mega-city,” the committee said in its deliberations adding, “Can’t authority think of constructing such institute in B-class city properly located in the country?”
The panel also said in future such projects should not be constructed in Delhi and said that “the ridge forests and its surrounding areas should be preserved and improved as lung of the mega-city”.
The proposal was recommended clearance by the standing committee during its meeting in March. Subsequently, the matter came before it again as the home ministry, the implementing agency, requested for a waiver of deposit of 5% of total project cost for undertaking soil-moisture conservation work. Though the panel has not waived off the deposit, it has reduced it to 2% of the total project cost.