NGT raps DUSIB over rehabilitation of slum clusters
The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday lambasted Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) for “sitting over” the money allocated to it for rehabilitation of slum clusters located near railway tracks here and directed its CEO to appear before it.
“Why don’t you relocate the people who are obstructing the railway tracks? We had directed you on March 18 to relocate them. You people are making plans and not doing anything. Railways had given a sum of Rs 11.25 crore to DUSIB in 2003-2004. You have been sitting over the money over a decade now and still nothing has happened.
“When we ask your officers, they move their neck here and there. If it was not possible for you to relocate them, you should have informed the railways 10 years ago when the money was given to you,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The observations came during the hearing of a petition filed by lawyers Saloni Singh and <g data-gr-id="41">Arush</g> Pathania against the pollution on railway properties, particularly on the tracks.
The counsel appearing for DUSIB told the bench that they were carrying out a survey to relocate the slums but there was no vacant land with the board.
To this, the bench said, “what will survey do? <g data-gr-id="39">You people</g> can’t do anything. You don’t have land, money, what is this? Either you return the money with interest or relocate the slums. Why have you taken the money for?”
During the hearing, advocate Om Prakash, appearing for the Railway Ministry, told the bench that the Delhi government was prohibiting DUSIB from removing <g data-gr-id="40">jhuggis</g> near the tracks.
The NGT had earlier noted that there was nearly 70 km of railway tracks in and around Delhi, of which 22 km violated the safety zone and seven km out of this offends the safety zone “badly”, seeking “immediate and serious attention from the point of environment, human life and degradation of public health”.
Safety zone is the area beyond 30 metres from the railway track.