SC ban on building activity to hit Smart City projects in Chandigarh

SUPREME COURT OF INDIAThe Supreme Court’s direction to ban all types of construction activities in Chandigarh is set to hit projects like 24/7 water supply in Mani Majra and bicycle-sharing scheme that were envisaged under the Smart City project.

The apex court in its order on Saturday imposed a ban on all building activities in Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in view of the failure of the governments to put in place an effective policy to address the issues of solid waste management.

The decision was taken by a Supreme Court bench led by Justice MB Lokur, who also imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh each on Chandigarh and the three states.

“If they want the people to live in dirt, filth and garbage, what can be done then?” Justice Lokur said in his order.

“In case, the states have the interest of the people, their cleanliness and sanitation in mind, then they should frame a policy for solid waste management. The attitude of the states/Union Territories, not yet framing a policy even after two years, is pathetic, to say the least…Further constructions in the states/UT are stayed until the policy is framed,” the order read.

According to media reports, as many as 20 projects in Chandigarh may be hit by the decision of the country’s top court.

The construction projects that have been put on hold in the city include the underpass project at Sector 17, hospital construction at Maloya, the spinal injury centre at GMCH-32, a railway underbridge at Mani Majra, building and demolition of a waste plant at Sector 38, community centre projects and the sports complex in Sector 39, among others.

Chandigarh Administration and the governments of the three states are required to frame their policies as per the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, which has been notified by the Centre to combat the issue of solid waste management.

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