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Ex-Min questions demolition of 7 housing colonies

A former Union Minister has questioned the demolition of seven government residential colonies in South Delhi, alleging that over 1.86 lakh trees would be destroyed in the process, leading the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to seek the views of the Centre and other parties on the matter.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and state-owned construction firm National Buildings Construction Limited (NBCC) on the issue.

The NGT also appointed advocate Sumeer Sodhi as amicus curiae to probe the matter after taking note of a letter written by RJD leader and former Union Minister Raghunath Jha on September 12.

“This is an application submitted by ex-Minister of State of Heavy Industries and Public Entrepreneurs, Government of India. We consider it as a fit case where notice should be issued to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, MoUD and NBCC,” the bench also comprising RS Rathore said. The matter is listed for next hearing on November 2.

In his letter, Jha has alleged that Directorate of Estates “is demolishing” seven government residential colonies in Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Thyagaraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur, comprising type I-IV flats, from this month. 
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