Delhi University has written to the Prime Minister’s Office, ministry of home affairs and the ministry of defence, among others, claiming that the transfer of a plot of land on North Campus to a private player and the construction of a high-rise there would be detrimental to the institution.
The letter, addressed to secretary, ministry of human and urban affairs, earlier this week and copied to the above-mentioned offices, requested quashing of the transfer while highlighting that “no-objection” of the university had not been obtained as necessary for any building plan in the area. It cited the zonal development plan, according to which “no tall building shall be permitted in the North Campus area of the university”.
DU also alleged that the builder responsible for developing the area had made false claims related to “environmental clearance”. Given the historical background of the land, which was originally owned by ministry of defence and falls inside the boundaries of the university, the letter stated that DU “should have been offered the first option to acquire this land before the same was acquired by the then government in 2001”.
In 2001, the three-hectare land was acquired at “public expense” for “public purpose” for DMRC. “In 2008, DMRC retained one hectare and transferred the rest to a private builder, instead of offering it to the university,” a senior DU official said.
In the letter, accessed by TOI, DU has said that it had objected to the fact that despite having ownership, it wasn’t offered the first option to acquire the land and that a “no objection” certificate was not obtained at any stage of the acquisition, auction and sanction of layout plans and that the university was not informed when its land-use was changed to residential.
“How can public land be used for private purposes? It is to our dismay that secretary, ministry of housing and urban affairs, has turned a deaf ear to us,” said Bipin Tiwari, OSD of university’s Equal Opportunity Cell.
DU also raised concerns about the proposal to construct a 39-storeyed building on the land. Anil Aneja, OSD, DU said: “The plans violate the Master Plan of Delhi, which states that no tall building shall be permitted in North Campus area of the university. This will also violate the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and the building could become a nuisance for girl students as there are four women hostels in proximity.”