Fresh air lifeline for survival but significance of socio-cultural activities can’t be ignored: Delhi HC

Fresh air and healthy environment are the lifeline for survival but the significance of socio-cultural activities cannot be ignored or overlooked, the Delhi High Court Thursday said while allowing the holding of Ram Leela on a ground in Janakpuri.

Addressing concerns over pollution, traffic congestion as well as serious damage to trees because of such events being organised in parks, a bench headed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said a mechanism has to be put in place to ensure these programmes are held in a regulated manner without causing any damage to the environment.

“While it needs no reiteration that fresh air, oxygen and healthy environment is the lifeline for survival of individuals, however, being social beings, socio-cultural activities are equally essential part for human co-existence,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, in an order.

“Significance and importance of these socio-cultural activities cannot be ignored or overlooked. What in fact, is a matter of concern is not a ban of these activities but to work out the mechanism to ensure that the programs are held in a regulated manner without causing any harm or damage to the environment,” the bench said.

Observing that “we are choking” is the cry of the citizens of Delhi because of the Air Quality Index skyrocketing to toxic levels, the court said concerted effort by every individual and authorities was required to save the city.

In the instant case, Shri Ram Leela Committee, Janakpuri, while assailing a single judge’s order against holding of public events on the ground in question, told the bench that they have been celebrating Dussehra for the last more than 30 years there with due permission from the land owning agency DDA while complying with all the terms and conditions regarding cleanliness and environment.

The court said the area in question was a “multipurpose ground” in the Layout Plan of district park as approved by Delhi Master Plan of 2021. Right in front of this area was a much bigger district park which was being used exclusively as a district park and no function of any kind was permitted there.

Also Read

It noted that admittedly the plot was lying barren and has no grass but a few trees around the periphery, and ordered, “Permission is granted to the appellants to host Dussehra/ Ramleela celebrations on this ground for this current year i.e. 2023 from the date of this Order till 30.10.2023”.

The court, however, directed that there shall be no damage or harm to the green cover existing on the ground.

It clarified that it was not coming in the way of directions given by the single judge to the DDA and the Deputy Conservator of Forests to plant trees in the area and take steps for its beautification for the welfare of the residents of the colony.

“The residents of Delhi are gasping for breath which makes it a duty not only of the Government Agencies, but also requires concerted effort of every individual to make an endeavour to save the city and each be the active brigade of ‘Saviours Of Nature’,” the court said.

Related Articles

Latest Articles