The Delhi High Court Wednesday said that it is a “misfortune” of the public that construction of a 100-bedded hospital at Najafgarh was not getting completed and blamed Delhi government’s “lethargic approach” for it.

The observation came after Centre told the court that 80 per cent of the construction has been completed but Delhi government has failed to grant “forest clearance” since December 2018 despite a detailed correspondence in this regard. A “transplantation” of trees has to take place for which the permission of the state authorities is required, advocate Anurag Ahluwalia told the court

The division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, in the order, noted that the Union government has been writing letter after letter but no reply has been given by the Delhi government. It also said that the Delhi government has failed to file any reply before the court in response to the petition seeking completion of construction.

While acceding to a request made by the counsel for the Delhi government for more time to file a reply, the court ordered the state to inform it that “within what least possible time the permissions/sanctions required to be given under law shall be granted by them as pointed out in the affidavit filed by Union of India and as required by Union of India”.

The court listed the case for next hearing on November 8. “We are giving you a longer time. Please do something so that this construction may be over and necessary permissions as per law may be given. Or as per law you may say ‘No’ also… but then you say so clearly so that we can take a decision or Union of India can take a decision. You cannot sit tight upon the matters. You say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ as per law, keeping in mind the welfare of the public at large,” it added.

The order was passed in a petition seeking completion of the project of establishing a 100-bedded hospital at the site of rural health training centre, Najafgarh. The foundation stone for the central government project was laid in 2014. “Although the building of the hospital seems to be completed a long time ago, it has not hitherto been started,” the petition filed by advocate Rajesh Kaushik stated.

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By Wyatt

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