Delhi

AAP blames Centre for nod to fell 17,000 trees

People hold placards during a candlelight vigil held against the cutting of trees in Delhi on Saturday.  

The permission to cut about a fourth of around 17,000 trees, that are proposed to be felled for the redevelopment of the Central government’s residential colonies in south Delhi, was given by the State government, official notifications show.

The Aam Aadmi Party, however, says the approvals were given by Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, over the objections of the elected government. Almost 17,000 trees could be felled to make way for the redevelopment of seven colonies.

Gazette notifications show that a total of 4,067 trees were approved for removal by the Delhi government’s Environment and Forest Department, through department secretary A.K. Singh, and compensatory plantation of 10 times as many trees ordered.

 

On November 15, 2017, the approval to remove 1,465 trees spread over an area of 10.10 hectares for the construction of a commercial complex at Nauroji Nagar was notified. Then, on November 22, permission to cut 112 trees on 2.22 hectares for the construction of 76 flats for MPs on Dr. B.D. Marg and Talkatora Road was given. A third notification on April 23 this year gave approval to remove 2,490 trees on an area of 44.24 hectares at the GPRA Colony in Netaji Nagar.

Now, with the felling of trees starting recently, the issue has gained political colour. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the party would not allow the trees to be cut.

“The L-G gave approval for the cutting of thousands of trees. Delhi’s Environment and Forest Minister Imran Hussain had raised objections since the removal of so many trees would be detrimental to the environment and also lead to congestion as the new high-rise buildings would have so many more residents,” he said.

He added that the files pertaining to the projects showed that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest was the one that had given approval for the felling.

Mr. Hussain said the files had been routed through him and that he had “given objections”, but the L-G had approved the cutting of the trees.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 12:32:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/aap-blames-centre-for-nod-to-fell-17000-trees/article24242608.ece

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