Principals of eight colleges in the North Campus of Delhi University (DU) have written a letter to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) voicing their concerns pertaining to the construction of a highrise building near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station.
The letter stated- “The proposed residential complex will have the capacity to accommodate at least 5,000 people. In addition to this, there would be service staff. This will contribute significantly to noise pollution.” It was signed by principals of Hindu, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hansraj, GTB Khalsa, Kirori Mal, St. Stephen’s and Daulat Ram College.
It further added- “We would like to appeal to the tribunal to protect the sanctity of the ridge and the campus from being encroached upon and concretised in the name of providing house to the public”.
The Principals, in their plea, further raised concerns about the construction that will lead to a rise in vehicular pollution, which the campus was already prey to because of the existing traffic on the Ring Road, Chatra Marg and Patel Marg. The other concern was that it will affect the ecological balance of Kamla Nehru Ridge. Moreover, the fears about depleting levels of groundwater were also cited as the area already faces a water shortage issue.
However, earlier in December of 2020, a committee set up by NGT gave a green signal for the construction of the highrise. In its report, the committee said that the construction of the highrise will not affect the groundwater or contribute to air pollution significantly.
The highrise is supposed to be 39 storeys high and will overlook 6 DU colleges and women hostels. The construction of this highrise sparked various student protests last year as well. It is not only a question of safety but also about protecting the legacy of the North campus to which this highrise poses a threat.