HC directs Delhi government to decide on plea over ‘missing’ trees in six weeks
An environmental activist had claimed that around 77 trees had gone missing in Sarvodaya Enclave over a span of seven years
The Delhi High Court has ordered the Delhi government to decide on a complaint by an environmental activist who claimed that around 77 trees had gone missing in Sarvodaya Enclave over a span of seven years.
Justice Rekha Palli directed the deputy conservator of forest (south) and the tree officer, south division, Department of Forests and Wildlife, to give a reasoned and speaking order on the complaint made by Bhavreen Kandhari, within six weeks.
The High Court order came while hearing Ms. Kandhari’s plea seeking a direction that necessary action be taken on her complaint. The Delhi government’s counsel told the court that it did not have any objection to deciding on her complaint expeditiously.
“In the light of the aforesaid stand taken by the respondent (Delhi government), the writ petition, along with the pending application, is disposed of by directing the respondent to decide on the petitioner’s complaint dated December 8, 2020, by passing a reasoned and speaking order within a period of six weeks from today,” the High Court said on October 11.
In her petition, Ms. Kandhari said that she made a complaint to the official concerned after two tree censuses conducted in Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi, in 2011-2012 and 2018-2019, showed that around 77 trees had gone missing in the colony.
“The 2012 census was concluded with the recommendation that 1,000 trees be immediately planted in Sarvodaya Enclave to ensure that the green cover was maintained,” the plea said.
“Nevertheless, another tree census that was conducted in the aforesaid colony in 2018-2019 revealed that the street tree count had dropped from 784 to 731 over a span of seven years, despite the addition of 21 new trees,” it said.
Ms. Kandhari said her complaint was predominantly based on the inconsistencies between the two tree censuses.
She said the authority concerned neither acknowledged nor acted upon the requests made in the complaint for initiation of necessary legal action against the “illegal felling” under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.