New Delhi: Railways has urged the National Green Tribunal to direct the Delhi government to utilise Rs 11.25 crore given to it way back in 2003-2004 to rehabilitate slum clusters along the rail tracks here.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Railways, told a bench headed by NGT chief Justice Swatanter Kumar that it had given Rs 11.25 crore to Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) for relocation of jhuggis but they have not utilised the money till date.
“The amount of Rs 11.25 crore given to DUSIB should be utilised and they should expeditiously decide the relocation and rehabilitation of jhuggis (slums) near railway tracks,” the ASG said.
The bench, however, said it would hear the matter later and posted it for hearing on January 23.
In the earlier hearing, DUSIB had put the onus on the transport behemoth, telling the bench that as per the 2015 Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation policy, it was the land owning agency (railways) that was responsible for rehabilitation of slums.
It had said that at present, it had a number of flats constructed at Baprola and the department was prepared to start the relocation process of jhuggi basti at Azadpur and Lawrence Road, which have 389 jhuggis.
The Delhi government body had also said it was willing to pay interest at the rate of 7 per cent per annum which comes to over Rs 9.51 crore. Thus the total amount is about Rs 20.25 crore against which 101 flats can be allotted at present.
Under attack from NGT for failure to keep the tracks clean, the Railways have sought to shift the blame on Delhi government for not relocating slum clusters from its land by allotting them flats, despite directions of the green panel.
Alleging non-cooperation by the Delhi government and DUSIB, the PSU behemoth had said the “only permanent” solution for maintaining sustained cleanliness on tracks was their rehabilitation.