In a bizarre explanation for the “need to cut old trees” in the capital, a senior official of the Forest Department informed the Delhi High Court that “old trees start releasing more carbon dioxide rather than oxygen,” and “need to be replaced” by planting more trees to take the place of trees that had reached a certain stage of their life cycle. The official said that trees become “net carbon dioxide generator rather than net oxygen generator” at a certain age.
The statement was made by Tarun Johri, Conservator of Forests, defending the approvals granted by the forest department to cut full grown “old trees” in the city. The issue had been raised before the bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, regarding the low rate of survival of the “trees” planted during compensatory plantation activities by the forest department.
The court has now asked the Forest department to submit the “scientific explanation” for the statement, as the official said that “all forestry activities” accepted “the life cycle theory”.