No more trees to be cut in Delhi till July 4, orders High Court

RSTV Bureau
= Activists from various environmental organisations display placards and hold a tree during a protest against cutting of trees in Nauroji Nagar area, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

= Activists from various environmental organisations display placards and hold a tree during a protest against cutting of trees in Nauroji Nagar area, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

The Delhi High Court has stayed tree-cutting in the national capital and put hold on the contentious mega housing project which requires felling of over 16,500 trees. The court on Monday ordered that no more trees will be cut in Delhi to pave the way for the construction of government officers’ houses and a commercial complex.

The Delhi High Court asks NBCC, “Can Delhi afford cutting of trees for the development of roads & buildings”. No more trees will be chopped till July 2, next date of hearing in the case, court said.

The court will hear the matter on July 4, while National Green Tribunal to hear matter on July 2.

Taking note of the views expressed by the court, the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), tasked with redeveloping half a dozen south Delhi colonies, agreed not to cut any tree till July 4.

“Can Delhi today afford cutting down of so many trees for a housing complex? We could understand if it was a road-widening work which is inevitable”, asked the bench of judges to NBCC.

Petitioner KK Mishra, an orthopaedic surgeon, filed the petition and asked the court to take cognizance of the matter and to stop the central government’s project to cut thousands of trees for the “redevelopment” of seven colonies in South Delhi.

The court’s observations came after the NBCC said the NGT had the jurisdiction to hear pleas challenging environment clearances (EC) granted to any project by the Centre.

After being trolled on social media for supporting the project Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said that no tree will be cut till the time he is in the office.

“Till the time I (Hardeep Singh Puri) am a minister no tree will be cut; for every tree that is cut we will plant 10 more. Green cover will go up by three times after re-development of seven colonies in South Delhi. Young activists are too fast to blame,” Singh told media here.

(with agency inputs)