The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi Government over its ‘lethargic’ attitude in giving forest clearance for completion of a 100-bedded hospital unit in Najafgarh area of the national capital.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing the plea filed by lawyer Rajesh Kaushik, seeking completion of establishment of 100-bedded hospital at Najafgarh in Delhi, the foundation stone for which was laid way back in 2014.
Central Government Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia informed the Bench that 80 percent of construction has already been done. “The only bottleneck is the permission to be given by the Forest Department of GNCTD, which is being pending since December 2018,” he added.
He submitted that the Centre is writing continuously to the Delhi Government seeking permission for transplantation of trees, but no reply has been received yet from the Delhi Government.
The Delhi Government Counsel, however, sought time to seek instructions and file a response. In light of the above, the Bench, while granting time as prayed for, directed the Delhi Government to file a response, inter-alia, pointing out the least possible time within which permissions/sanctions, as required to be given under law and as required by the Centre, shall be granted by them.
The Bench stated,
“It is a misfortune for the public at large that a 100-bedded hospital could not be completed because of lethargic approach on part of the Government of NCT of Delhi. The Union of India is writing letters after letters and no reply has been given by the Government of NCT Delhi, nor any counter-affidavit has been filed in the writ petition.”
The Court orally asked the Delhi Government to take a call in the matter at the earliest. “You can’t sit tight upon the matters…You do as per law, keeping in mind the welfare of public at large,” remarked the Bench and posted the matter for November 8.
Filed by one Rajesh Kaushik, through Advocates Sameer Chandra and Kuldeep Singh, the plea pointed out that the decision to establish the National Institute of Paramedical Sciences at Najafgarh area in Delhi was taken in 2011-2012. However, the Cabinet approved only for the establishment of a 100-bedded hospital at the said area and accordingly, the work was started.
It further pointed out that though the building of the hospital seems to have been completed since long, yet it has not been made operational. The petitioner urged for completion of the project before the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic hits the nation, so that the residents of over 73 villages spread across the area are able to avail their right to good medical care.