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SC clears construction at Maya’s Ambedkar park
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 3
The Supreme Court today gave a conditional go-ahead to the Mayawati Government to resume construction of the Rs 685-crore BR Ambedkar Memorial at Noida Park under the supervision of an expert panel.

The park, located in Uttar Pradesh, is adjacent to the eco-sensitive Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Delhi, and residents had filed a PIL objecting to the project near the sanctuary. However, the court ruled that the Noida Park does not come under forestland.

The three-member Forest Bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia lifted the stay on construction on the condition that the built-up and hard surface area of the memorial not exceed 25 per cent of the park. The state government had completed about 75 per cent construction when the apex court stayed the project on October 9 last year.

The Bench, which included Justices Aftab Alam and KSP Radhakrishnan, ruled that the park did not fall in the forest area. Nevertheless, the court directed the state government to ensure that the park was adequately compensated for the 6,000-odd trees felled for the project spread over 33.43 hectares.

“Any construction work should commence only on completion of planting of the trees,” the apex court ruled, adding that trees should be planted especially dense towards the sanctuary on the western side of the project area. The 400-hectare sanctuary is home to 302 bird species. Residents of the area had filed a PIL objecting to the project near the bird sanctuary but the apex court said it could not do much in the absence of laws on a buffer zone for sanctuaries.

Meanwhile, the expert committee to supervise the project would be constituted within two weeks and would have an ornithologist nominated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and another member selected by the SC-appointed Central Empowered Committee. Noida Chairman-cum-CEO would be member secretary of the committee. 





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