The Delhi High Court Thursday clarified that its order prohibiting felling of trees was restricted to the redevelopment of seven housing projects in south Delhi, and would not affect any other project in the capital.
“We will not interfere with so many projects of national importance in Delhi,” a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao said, while passing an order on applications filed by the Delhi government, South Corporation, National Highways Authority of India and Power Grid Corporation of India.
They had sought to know if the HC’s July 4 direction, restraining authorities from cutting trees, applied to the entire capital or just the seven colonies.
The pleas contended that several projects were held up — including expansion of the Delhi Metro and laying new power lines for the power grid, which will result in closure of the polluting Badarpur power plant — as the forest department was not giving permission to fell trees due to the order. The forest department had then filed a plea in the HC, asking that the court’s earlier order staying tree felling be modified.
The bench said that since the petitions were concerned with redevelopment work in the seven colonies, its orders would be restricted to that project alone. If anyone was aggrieved by any other work, resulting in felling of trees, a plea can be moved in the National Green Tribunal, it said.
It also said some of the projects which were affected by its order were also being monitored by the Supreme Court and, therefore, orders of the High Court cannot interfere with matters under the supervision of the apex court.