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Delhi High Court gives one last chance to Centre, Delhi govt, L&T to file counter-affidavit on repair of road leading to Dwarka school

The Delhi High Court on Friday adjourned a plea filed by New Era Public School, Sector 24, Dwarka, seeking directions to India International Convention and Exhibition Centre ltd and Larsen and Turbo ltd to undertake repair work on the road adjacent to the petitioner school, which has been damaged by rough use of the respondents.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli, owing to the nature of grievance of the petitioner school, granted last opportunity to India International Convention and Exhibition Centre Ltd, Larsen and Turbo Ltd, Union of India, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Public Works Department and Delhi Development Authority to file their counter-affidavit.

Advocate A.C. Mishra, appearing on behalf of Larsen and Toubro Ltd, informed the court that L&T Ltd have repaired the road multiple times, but due to severe drainage issues with the road, it keeps getting damaged.

The matter is listed for further hearing on November 17.

According to the petitioners New Era Public School, Sector 24, Dwarka, the location of the said school was selected as the area was clean and unpolluted, owing to the remoteness from metropolitan city.

The petition averred that in 2017, India International Convention and Exhibition Centre ltd. Awarded a contract to Larsen and Toubro Ltd. For design, engineering and construction of a Convention Centre, at an estimated cost of Rs 25703 crore. The petition further said that the Convention Centre is around three km from the petitioner school building.

According to the petition, the location of the Convention Centre is accessible through a six hundred metre long and about twenty feet wide road, the said road is adjacent to and in front of the primary gate for New Era Public School and is necessary for ingress and egress to the school premises.

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The petition claims that, Larsen and Turbo ltd. Have been overusing the aforementioned road on a regular basis, to transport a wide range of construction material, heavy machinery, earth moving equipment, construction workers, etc. Furthermore, the construction workers employed by Larsen and Turbo ltd, openly ease themselves and urinate alongside the Road, leading to the menace of foul smell and unhygienic surroundings.​

The petition further claims, around June 2018 the aforementioned road developed numerous bumps and craters as a direct consequence of the over-use of the Road by Larsen and Turbo ltd in aforesaid manner, leaving the said road badly damaged and unusable. As a result of the damage caused to the road, the students and staff of New Era Public School have found it difficult to access the school.

The petition submits that, on July 16, 2018 the Principal of New Era Public School wrote a letter to the Project Manager of Larsen and Turbo ltd, requesting them to repair the Road. Subsequently, Larsen and Turbo ltd excavated the area alongside the Road and dumped the soil thereof on the aforementioned Road, rendering the road unsafe for students, staff and the general public. This prompted the Principal of New Era Public School to write another letter to the Project Manager that again went unanswered.

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The petition further submits that, certain members of New Era Public School’s staff met with accidents while trying to traverse the potholes, and suffered injuries, also the said potholes, due rain were filled with water and became a breeding ground for mosquitos.

The petition further claims that, subsequently Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) started using the said road to move heavy construction material and labour for the construction of a nearby metro station. The petitioner school subsequently, arranged a meeting with a representative of DMRC, Mr. Sanjay Goel, who had attended the said meeting and expressly acknowledged the danger to safety and well-being of students of the Petitioner school and further assured, the road will be repaired immediately, but the state of the road has further worsened leaving the students and staff of New Era Public School aggrieved.

The Petition was filed by Advocate Shashwat Jindal and argued by Advocate Abhijat.

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