The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by the Delhi Police seeking permission to construct barracks for its trainees on the floodplains of the Yamuna River. Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan questioned the justification for constructing on the floodplains, emphasizing the need to prioritize environmental concerns.
“Why do you want to construct in Yamuna floodplains? Steps need to be taken for the environment. Last year the floodwater entered the Supreme Court. How can we allow barracks on Yamuna? Dismissed,” stated the bench.
The Apex Court was hearing a plea by the Delhi Police challenging a 2020 order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which had rejected the plea, citing the project’s location on the floodplains.
The NGT had disagreed with the Delhi Police’s argument that the Principal Committee, overseeing Yamuna rejuvenation, had recommended in favor of the project. In a 2015 order, the NGT prohibited construction activities in the designated floodplain and directed the Principal Committee to identify existing structures on the demarcated floodplain.
“Upon identification, the Principal Committee shall make its recommendations as to which of the structures ought or ought not to be demolished, in the interest of the environment and ecology, particularly if such structures have been raised in an unauthorized and illegal manner,” the NGT had mandated.