Delhi High Court stays cutting of trees until July 4

Residential projects, if they get the green light, could see the felling of 16,500 trees

New Delhi: In a relief to residents, the Delhi High Court on Monday asked authorities not to fell the 16,500 trees sanctioned by the Centre for the redevelopment of six south Delhi communities until July 4.

A bench of Justice Vinod Goel and Justice Rekha Palli directed the National Buildings Construction Corp (NBCC) not to cut the trees at least until the next date of hearing, on July 4.

The court also permitted the petitioner to challenge the orders passed by the authorities giving permission to cut the trees for these residential projects.

During the hearing, the court asked NBCC: “You know the effect it would have? I understand if it was widening of a road or something inevitable. Can Delhi afford it today? Keep your hands off till July 4?”

The petitioner, an orthopaedic surgeon, has sought the setting aside of the terms of reference and the environment clearances granted to the project by the Environment Ministry, saying it would lead to felling of more than 16,500 trees.

The six south Delhi areas where the trees would be felled are Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Mohammadpur and Kasturba Nagar, the petition by Kaushal Kant Mishra said.

All these areas are home to government employees where the central government is pulling down houses built in the 1950 and replacing them with high-rise buildings. 

Besides the NBCC,  the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is involved in the project.


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