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New court directive on elevated metro line

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Union Government to consider objectively the representation by residents’ welfare associations of some South Delhi colonies raising objections to construction of an elevated metro railway line in the Capital between Central Secretariat and Badarpur.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice T. S. Thakur and Justice Aruna Suresh advised the Government not to make the construction of an elevated line a “prestige issue and consider the representation dispassionately”.

It directed the Government to take a decision on the representation and file a reply in the Court by January 17, the next date of hearing.

Earlier, the Centre through its counsel informed the Court that it was considering the representation sent to it through Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The Court on Wednesday had asked the Centre to inform it whether a Group of Union Ministers was seized of the suitability of the elevated line passing through some congested South Delhi colonies.

It had further said that if the Centre was reconsidering construction of the line following objections by the residents’ welfare associations then it would wait for a decision on it; otherwise it would consider the petition on merit and pass an order.

The RWAs through a bunch of petitions have objected to construction of the elevated line on grounds of violation of the privacy of local residents and an increase in noise pollution levels. The proposed elevated link, among others, would pass through Greater Kailash, Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Kailash Colony, Jangpura and Kalkaji.

The residents of the colonies between Jangpura and Kalkaji also expressed apprehension that the proposed link would damage the green cover in their area and add to the noise pollution.

Though the Court has refused to stay the construction, at the same it has questioned the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s insistence on having an elevated line. The Court has asked why the DMRC was digressing from its motto of providing an underground metro rail service.

The Centre in its response to the petition has also opposed the petitioners’ contention.

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