The Delhi High Court Monday asked the authorities concerned to remove encroachments from forest areas and mitigate dust in the city to reduce air pollution.
A bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice A J Bhambhani asked the authorities whether “planting of seeds could be done by throwing dart shots containing them from helicopters into forest areas”.
The bench directed the Delhi government to prepare an action plan for removing encroachments from forest areas and to submit the report before the special task force under the supervision of the Supreme Court.“Removing encroachments from forest areas will give space to plant more trees and restore forest areas… It will help as a long-term solution to reduce air pollution,” the bench observed.
Pulling up the municipal corporations for lack of a plan on controlling dust, HC observed that the issue needs to be immediately looked into. It said while it may not be a good idea to cover every area with concrete, planting of shrubs and creepers could help remove dust. “If shrubs are planted on the sides of roads, the problem could be solved,” the HC noted.
It listed the matter for December 5.
In pursuance to the court’s earlier direction, the Chief Forest officer of Delhi government was present during the hearing and submitted that their aim is to reach 25% of green cover by 2025. The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it in 2015 on the issue of poor air quality in the capital.