The Delhi High Court Thursday questioned the manner in which the North Delhi Municipal Corporation had attempted to carry out the transplantation of a 60-year-old peepal tree at Inderpuri and directed Delhi’s forest department to examine the tree afresh to check whether it is dangerous or not.
On October 28, the court had directed the authorities to not harm or remove the tree in any manner and halted the NDMC action midway after senior advocate N Hariharan mentioned that the 60-year-old tree near his residence was being illegally cut. The court had said that grave and irreparable harm will be caused not only to the environment but also the residents of the locality if the tree is permitted to be cut.
Pulling up the NDMC, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva Thursday asked the civic body to explain how it was possible to transplant such an old tree and observed that its removal may require bringing down of some houses in the vicinity of the tree.
“How are you going to remove the roots of the tree? What was the requirement? This is not how the trees are transplanted. If you are pruning the tree in such fashion, this will not survive,” said the court, adding the tree may not survive if it is removed in such a manner.
On Thursday, the NDMC told the court that the existence of the tree had become dangerous due to construction in a nearby building. The counsel representing the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), however, told the court that its permission for relocation of the tree has since lapsed and thus the petition before the court has become infructuous.
The court, after seeing photos of the tree, in the order noted that prima facie there was no danger of the tree falling as no tilt or sagging was observed. It also noted that the building where construction was taking place has since been completed, while directing the DCF to examine the tree again.