The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a status report from the Shahjanabad Redevelopment Corporation with respect to project for re-development of city’s Jama Masjid area.The Division Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla sought to know in how much time the Detailed Project Report (DPR) shall be prepared by the newly appointed project consultant….
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a status report from the Shahjanabad Redevelopment Corporation with respect to project for re-development of city’s Jama Masjid area.
The Division Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla sought to know in how much time the Detailed Project Report (DPR) shall be prepared by the newly appointed project consultant. It also directed the corporation to place on record the details of the consultant.
The development comes in a writ petition filed in the year 2014, seeking redevelopment of the Jama Masjid precincts in Shahjanabad, along the lines of Chandni Chowk area redevelopment.
A consultant neamely M/s Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates was finalized by the Shahjanabad Redevelopment Corporation in March 2016 and it was expected that the redevelopment project will not spill over beyond December, 2016. However, the case has had a chequered history ever since.
On August 3, 2016, the Court was informed that a Master Plan has been completed and the next step involves preparation of a detailed project report (DPR). This was to be done by the end of September, 2016. This deadline was extended on several occasions until December 19, 2017, when the Court was apprised regarding the objections made by the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) to many of the proposals in the DPR, the principal one being that there has to be an extensive consultation with the stakeholders and a social impact assessment undertaken.
Thereafter, in March 2018, the time for stakeholder consultation process was extended by three months. It was directed that the consultation with the stakeholders should be completed on or before 31st March 2018 and that the DPR should be made operational not later than 31st May 2018.
Nonetheless, the Court expressed its displeasure at the “enormous wastage of time” caused by the authorities concerned by not finalizing the DPR till September 2018. It was directed that a final decision on the DPR be taken on or before 4th October 2018.
However, in December 2018, the Court was informed that the DPR is not acceptable to the Board of Directors of the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation, considering that it is not being favoured by various stakeholders including DDA, ASI, shopkeepers of Meena Bazar, Delhi Waqf Board etc.
Thus, it was directed that the Consultants have to come up now with a revised DPR along with revised detailed estimates.
The deadline for this purpose was extended vide order dated May 15, 2019 by two months. In January 2020, the Court was informed that the project report has been prepared. Thereafter, the case could not be taken up on account of Covid-19 pandemic.
When the matter was listed today, the Respondents informed the Court that Consultant had passed away in 2021 and consequently, a new Consultant has been appointed who is in the process of preparing a fresh DPR.
It is at this juncture, that the Court inquired regarding the necessity of a new DPR. “If the report had not been prepared and you had appointed a new consultant then it would have been a different thing. But there is already a project report, you must have approved it also…,” Justice Sanghi said.
It thus directed the concerned authority, Respondent no. 3, to file an affidavit disclosing as to whether the project report prepared by the earlier consultant was finalized and if so, the reasons for fresh report being prepared. “It should also be indicated within how much time the fresh report will be prepared by the freshly appointed consultant,” it added.
The matter will now be heard on 25 July.
Case No.: W.P.(C) 6795/2014
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