October 14, 2021 5:44:22 pm
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation will have to plant 150 trees within ten days on the eastern side of the Blind School flyover towards Panj Peeran graveyard for not complying with an order directing it to file a status report in a contempt case, the Delhi High Court has said in an order.
The court has passed similar orders in at least three cases since earlier this month and ordered the plantation of trees in different areas of Delhi as a cost against state agencies or officials for not filing replies in time to the litigations filed by citizens.
Over 43,000 trees have been planted in the Central Ridge alone in the past two years by the Forest Department pursuant to the court orders in which the parties were asked to plant trees or pay the cost for buying the trees.
Justice Najmi Waziri, in an order released this week, said that the SDMC on July 13 sought two weeks to file a status report in the contempt case related to an alleged illegal construction but the same is not on record even after the delay of nearly 11 weeks.
For the delay, the court recorded an undertaking of the SDMC that it will plant 150 trees. The court has ordered the SDMC to file a compliance affidavit with photographs showing the plantation. It said that the trees to be planted will be duly protected by tree guards or fences.
“Community participation in the plantation and maintenance of the trees may be encouraged,” said the court in its order, adding that each tree shall have a minimum of two years’ nursery-age and a trunk height of six feet.
In a similar order in a case from South Delhi, the court, while issuing a notice of contempt to an SDM for not complying with a co-ordinate bench’s order of July 2019, has ordered the planting of trees within two weeks.
“As the cost for these proceedings, the SDM shall supply, in a week, 150 trees to the Deputy Conservator of Forests (South) for plantation along the NH-24 starting from the Nizamuddin Bridge,” said Justice Waziri in the order.
The court in another such case, while granting an additional time of four weeks to an SDM for filing of reply in a case, said the same will remain subject to payment of Rs 19,000 or supply of 125 trees to the Deputy Conservator Forests (West) for plantation within four weeks. It added that the amount shall be used for the purchase of trees from the government-owned nursery for the plantation of trees in the Central Ridge.
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