Government-owned real estate development body NBCC on Wednesday said that it has directed all its contractors not to cut trees in any of its redevelopment projects in South Delhi, in line with the undertaking it has given to the Delhi High Court.
The body on June 25 had agreed in the High Court to not cut trees till July 4. It made the statement after a vacation bench of the high court, comprising Justices Vinod Goel and Rekha Palli, said that it would impose an interim stay on tree felling.
On Wednesday, a plea was filed by environmentalist Vimlendu Jha in the High Court seeking contempt action against the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), for allegedly violating the undertaking and cutting trees in Netaji Nagar.
The body on Wednesday clarified that it has instructed all contractors redeveloping three colonies – Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar – not to cut any trees.
“In the event of any breach by any individual or contractor, they will be held responsible for all consequential damages arising from there, including contempt of court,” an NBCC spokesperson said.
In case any NBCC officials finds any incidence of tree cutting, the corporation will report it to the authorities concerned, including the police, he said.
“The High Court order is well publicised in print and electronic media, and if anyone is found violating it, then that individual would be responsible for the same,” the NBCC said in a statement.
Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain had Tuesday directed the Forest Department to lodge FIR against those responsible for cutting trees in Netaji Nagar.
The government had announced that it would be cutting over 14,000 trees for building over 25,000 flats for government employees in seven colonies of south Delhi.
NBCC is redeveloping Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, while the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is managing the rest four colonies in Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.
A major protest broke out against the decision, with locals and activists launching their own “Chipko Movement”, a forest conservation movement where people embraced trees to prevent them from being cut in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh) in the 1970s.