The Delhi government has “revoked all permissions” granted with respect to existing unfelled trees, said Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain, in a note to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, adding that agencies had failed to “carry out necessary compensatory tree plantation”.
Earlier, the Delhi Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had conducted an inspection and found that only 3,195 of the 47,715 saplings (6.6%) had been planted as compensation for the 3,126 trees felled by NBCC for the redevelopment of three colonies in south Delhi. On Tuesday, officials from NBCC and the Centre confirmed to the PAC that they didn’t have land to carry out replanting.
Regarding the redevelopment work, Hussain wrote, “The user agency/project proponent has failed to carry out necessary compensatory tree plantation and has also failed to make sites available for the same to the Forest Department.” He added, “This amounts to violation of NGT orders and tree cutting conditions as accepted by NBCC.” Earlier the NGT had said that compensatory planting had to precede the actual felling of trees.
The revoking of permission will impact at least 11,000 trees, said officials. The note also cited the Union UD Minister’s claim that, “NBCC and MoUDH are redesigning the entire project to ensure no further cutting of trees” and said that “permissions given so far are redundant”.
“Hence GNCTD has decided to revoke all permissions granted so far in respect of unfelled trees,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court is likely to hear a plea on Wednesday, seeking to restrain authorities from felling over 16,000 trees for the redevelopment of central government housing projects in south Delhi.
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