Delhi

Plea challenges felling of tree for redevelopment of Ayur Vigyan Nagar

Photo for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre and city government to respond to a petition challenging an order by the forest department for felling and transplantation of 315 trees for redevelopment of Ayur Vigyan Nagar here.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the Environment Ministry, Delhi government’s Deputy Conservator of Forests (south) and the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to respond to the plea by next date of hearing on December 11.

Abhishek Dutt, a municipal councillor here, argued that the forest department has allowed large-scale destruction of the vegetation and tree cover of the Capital for the purposes of government redevelopment, “wholly ignoring the air pollution and serious environmental concerns that affect the health of the citizens.”

The plea said that planting of saplings in a different location would be absolutely no substitute for the trees that are being cut today. “Even planting 10 saplings for each tree which is felled is not enough considering the large size, ecological impact of larger trees and poor survival rate of saplings,” it said.

Advocate Varun K. Chopra, representing Mr Dutt, argued that “rights of citizen to breathe clean air is being abrogated by removal of 315 green lungs in the heart of Delhi”.

The petition claimed that the permission to cut the trees was “arbitrary” as it was granted without any Environmental impact assessment (EIA), especially in light of the deteriorating condition of the environment in and around the National Capital Territory and the pollution impaction the entire region.

The plea also contended that during transplantation process there is insufficient focus on tree canopies which can be lopped off mercilessly during transplantation and greatly reduce the ecological value of the tree in terms of absorbing carbon di oxide and releasing oxygen.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 11:55:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/plea-challenges-felling-of-tree-for-redevelopment-of-ayur-vigyan-nagar/article33160353.ece

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