The Rs 411-crore project, a residential-cum-training complex at Dwarka for the elite Special Protection Group (SPG), has been red-flagged for violating environmental norms.
Now, an Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on violation under the Union Environment Ministry has given ‘go-ahead’ to the project proponent, SPG’s Cabinet Secretariat, while imposing certain conditions such as implementation of a Rs 9 crore eco-augmentation plan in the region and approval from the relevant local authorities before kicking off the construction work.
The Public Sector Unit (PSU) National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) which is executing the project sprawled over 24.62 acres at plot number 1, Sector 21, Dwarka had already started construction way back in 2017. Noida-based Aplinka Solutions & Technologies Pvt Ltd is its environment consultant.
In the meeting of the EAC on February 15, 2019, the members noted that the project had violated Environmental Impact Assessment notification 2006 and there were many gaps in the EMP (environmental management programme). The terms of reference (ToR) granted on February 2, 2019 were also not properly implemented.
The EAC observed that project proponent started construction work in August, 2017 and went by the Environment Ministry notification, dated December 9, 2016, which stated that no separate environment clearance is required for construction on built up area of less than 1,50,000 sqm. The notification was quashed by the National Green Tribunal in the following year. The project proponent should have sought fresh environment clearance, but it was not done.
The complex will comprise of 9 building blocks, total 960 flats (including hostels), community centre of excellence and nursery school besides all modern amenities.
The term of reference ( ToR) for the proposal was granted on February 8, 2019, but no prior clearance was obtained for the project involving a built-up area of 1,09,393.528 sqm. This was a violation of EIA Notification 2006, said the panel.
Noting that the project is located within 10 km of eco sensitive areas -- Centre Ridge Reserved Forest and Rajokari Protected Forest --- the panel found that the suggested EMP including the recurring cost as well as future monitoring programme including the budget were not properly addressed. Similarly, cost for rainwater harvesting was grossly inadequate while annual recurring cost for all suggested items was not properly mentioned. The cost for tree plantation was not included in the EMP budget.
Besides, the panel has said that the project proponent (PP) should given undertaking that they will abide by the figures for water usage mentioned in the EIA/EMP. This undertaking is required as the figure mentioned in the EIA/EMP are not matching with the figures given by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in their letter dated September, 4, 2018.
Also, under damage assessment and remediation plan, the submission made by PP on natural and community resources augmentation plan was found inadequate in terms of land environment.
“Under water environment cost of water used during construction, for labour, and waste water generated has to be re-calculated. Under natural resources augmentation, creation of water bodies and rainwater harvesting structure has to be properly addressed.
“Infrastructure development in schools, street lightning, shelter, covering villages under the community resources need to be re-done,” said the panel.
Accordingly, budget for the damage assessment plan and remediation plan along with detailed activity wise time-bound action plan be re-submitted, it said. The committee observed that credible action has not been initiated against the PP by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).
Wildlife conservation plan is also required to be approved by the concerned Chief Wildlife Warden since schedule 1 species are observed in the study area.
The EAC has asked the PP to shell out Rs 9. 14 crore towards remediation plan (Rs 2.22 crore ), natural (Rs. 3.41 crores) and community resource plan (3.51 crores) to be spent within next three years.
The proponent has also been asked to plant around 3,735 trees of which 3,635 trees will be planted in the campus as the air quality in the region is falling under severe category. Toilets will have to be constructed under Swachchh Bharat Mission (SBM) in the nearby villages Bagdola and Shahbad Mohammadpur.