Delhi

HC prohibits felling of trees in the Capital until further orders 

Trees are a great source for pollution mitigation, the High Court said.

Trees are a great source for pollution mitigation, the High Court said. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Delhi High Court on Thursday halted the felling of trees in the Capital until further orders, noting there is no other way to mitigate the ecological degradation in the city.

Noting the findings of an affidavit filed by the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Justice Nazmi Waziri said, “A total of 29,946 trees were allowed to be fell in the past three years, which on computation comes to 27 trees per day and 1.13 per hour.” The Judge was hearing a contempt petition filed by Neeraj Sharma, represented by advocate Aditya N Prasad, regarding cutting down a fully grown tree in east Delhi’s Vikas Marg.

Justice Waziri said that a large-scale denudation of the green cover “only worsens the ecological balance of the city”, adding, “Air pollution needs to be mitigated on an urgent basis. Trees are a great source for mitigation.”

“Surely, there is no other way to mitigate the ecological and environmental degradation in the city,” the Bench added.

The Bench said, therefore, “in the public interest as well as for the sake of the environment for present and future generations”, tree felling in Delhi will not be permitted till June 2 — the next hearing date. The court also asked the authorities to ensure that “felling is done only when it is fully assured by the applicant that the trees would at least be transplanted”.

The High Court had, in its April 28 order, asked the Department of Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) to submit in an affidavit the number of trees permitted to be cut down over the last three years. In its affidavit, the Deputy Conservator of Forest had stated that 13,490 trees were permitted to be cut in the city and 16,456 trees were directed to be transplanted in the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The High Court had earlier sought an explanation from a Tree Officer over the permission given to cut down a fully grown tree, noting it was the officer’s duty to ensure trees are not allowed to be cut “needlessly or wantonly”.


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 1:45:41 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/hc-stalls-felling-of-trees-until-further-orders/article65431015.ece