Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corpn. (DTTC) directed to obtain environmental clearance for “Signature Bridge” over Yamuna river

National Green Tribunal (NGT): NGT has directed Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation (DTTC) to get an environmental clearance for the under construction “Signature Bridge” over the Yamuna river at Wazirabad in Delhi. “Signature Bridge” across River Yamuna is an eight-lane wide bridge, connecting Eastern and Western parts of Delhi. The total area of Signature Bridge Project is 1,55,260 sq. mtrs. and it is under construction since 2008. The order of NGT came upon an application filed by an environmentalist, who had alleged that construction of the said bridge started without obtaining prior Environmental Clearance from the Regulatory Authority in terms of the provisions of the Environment Clearance Regulations, 2006 and construction of the bridge is likely to impact River Yamuna and river hydrology adversely. In its defense, DTTC submitted that it had applied to the MoEF for seeking Environmental Clearance for execution of the project but it was informed by MoEF, that ‘Bridges’ are not covered under the Regulations of 2006 and as such Environmental Clearance is not required. After perusal of material on record, NGT directed Delhi government to seek environmental clearance within three weeks and further noted, “As more than 80 per cent of the bridge has been completed… we do not direct demolition thereof in public interest. However, we direct SEIAA to put such terms and conditions as may be necessary to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on environment, ecology, biodiversity and environmental flow of River Yamuna and its floodplain.”(Vikrant Kumar Tongad v. Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corpn., 2015 SCC OnLine NGT 3, decided on February 12, 2015)

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