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When judges joke: 'Delhi Development Authority should be renamed Delhi Destruct Authority'

The Delhi high court yesterday called the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) the “Delhi Destruct Authority” while saying that the land-owning agency and other departments are not concerned about Delhi.

“You all are not concerned about Delhi. All of you should be renamed. DDA should be renamed Delhi Destruct Authority,” said a division bench of justices BD Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva.

The court’s observation came while hearing a PIL that said there was a forest area in Tughlakabad and birds and animals were dying because of poisonous and polluted water released from illegal factories in the area.

The judges had thundered in the case earlier this month that the city’s air should be cleaned desperately by some responsible governmental authority.

The discharge has created an “artificial lake” and the polluted water “is spreading in the whole forest”, the plea filed by resident Manoj Kumar said. It said animals were dying on a large scale.

The court wanted to know which government body is responsible for looking into the issue of contaminated water and whether the water body is a natural lake or not but none of the departments could answer the court’s query.

The court also expressed unhappiness on the meeting held on Jan 29 on court’s earlier direction to chalk out remedial measures to clean the contaminated water in the Tughlakabad Ridge area. It had also asked the DDA to explore the possibility of converting the polluted artificial lake and 200 acres of surrounding land behind the Tughlaqabad Fort into a biodiversity park on the lines of the Yamuna biodiversity park.

“None if them appears to be aware as to what has to be done... All these concerned bodies don’t know who are responsible,” said the bench Wednesday as it added the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the South Delhi Municipal Committee and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee as parties in the case.

The bench issued notice to ASI, SDMC and DPCC and sought their responses by March 4. It also asked DDA to submit a map indicating the extent of the water body and its location along with layout plan of the surrounding park.

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