The residents of south Delhi were set to pay the price for the redevelopment projects. which include Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, and Netaji Nagar. The forest department has given the permission to chop off at least 16,500 full grown trees to make way for redeveloping of Central government accommodations in the area.
The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), charged with redeveloping half a dozen south Delhi colonies, on Monday assured the Delhi High Court not to cut any trees for the project till July 4.
The environment impact assessment report for the projects around south Delhi shows that 11,000 out of 13,128 trees will be cut in Sarojini Nagar, 1,465 out of 1,513 will be cut in Nauroji Nagar, 3,033 out of the total 3,906 trees will be chopped off from Netaji Nagar and another 520 will be felled from Kasturba Nagar, which has a cover of as many trees. The figures for RK Puram are yet to be released.
Padmavati Dwivedi, an activist, said that the chopping of full-grown trees will leave a void in the city, which cannot be replaced by planting saplings at distant locations. Environment lawyer Aditya Prasad said that if the forest department, which comes under the Delhi government, wants they can reject the proposal. According to an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order issued in 2017, NBCC has been asked to transplant or relocate 186 trees from Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar alone. Will the company also deposit a cumulative security deposit of? 22.54 crore for compensatory afforestation.
The NBCC’s statement came after a vacation Bench of Justices Vinod Goel and Rekha Palli said it was inclined to order an interim stay of the tree chopping process. “You know the effect it would have. I understand if it was widening of the road or something inevitable. Can Delhi afford it today,” the Bench remarked.
The NBCC and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) are in the process of felling over 16,500 trees for the redevelopment of six south Delhi colonies. Petitioner Kaushal Kant Mishra, an orthopedic surgeon, has sought setting aside of the terms of reference and the environmental clearances (EC) granted to the project by the Environment Ministry.
The Bench initially asked the NBCC to “stay its hands” till July 2, when a similar issue would be heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and asked the petitioner to approach the tribunal too.
The Central government counsel, appearing for the Ministries of Environment and Housing, said the ECs given by the Centre were in accordance with the earlier orders of the NGT.Mr. Mishra’s counsel contended that the matter also involved permission given in November last year by the tree authority of the Delhi government to fell the trees and this decision could not be challenged in the NGT.
The court gave Mr. Mishra, time till July 4 to amend his plea and challenge the tree authority’s decision.
- AAP claimed that the decision to cut trees came from Harsh Vardhan’s ministry
- Vardhan said that the trees are in the non-forest area and his ministry has nothing to do with the order
- Last week, it was reported that almost 17,000 trees will be cut for the redevelopment work of 7 residential colonies in Delhi
on the other hand center and states blame game is in full swing, Vardhan said according to the information he had, the area where the trees were to be felled was a “non-forest area” and the Forest department of the Government of India had nothing to do with it.