77,000 Trees Cut Down In Delhi With A Rate Of 3 Trees Every Hour In Past 3 Years; HC Told

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77,000 Trees Cut Down In Delhi With A Rate Of 3 Trees Every Hour In Past 3 Years; HC Told

The Delhi HC sought the stand of the Forest Department, saying that the city can't afford to lose 77,000 trees and asked them to disclose the data regarding categories that were missing from the earlier affidavit.

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The Delhi High Court, on Monday, July 11, was informed that at least three trees were cut every hour in the past three years in the national capital and that the estimate does not include instances of illegal felling.

Justice Najmi Waziri was hearing a contempt case concerning the preservation of trees in the city. It was told that as per an affidavit filed by the Forest Department of the Delhi government, 77420 trees were given permission to be cut down from 2019 to 2021.

Over 77,000 Trees Cut Down

Neeraj Sharma filed the contempt plea, which pertained to the trees in the Vikas Marg area in East Delhi.

The counsel Aditya N Prasad appearing in this matter, said that illegal tree felling, which includes trees cut down for forest clearance, unnoticed felling of trees, and those lost to the storm, etc., are not accounted for in the affidavit. If done so, the figures may be twice or four times the current number of over 77 thousand, as reported by NDTV.

The counsel added that 77 trees were missing in a particular area of Delhi and that the figure rose to 177 missing upon verification by the authorities, as per a green census.

What Did The HC Say?

The HC sought the stand of the Forest Department on the petitioner's computation, saying that the city can't afford to lose 77,000 trees. It also asked the Forest Department to disclose the data regarding categories that were missing from the earlier affidavit, as reported by The New Indian Express.

While discussing the issue of transplantation of trees in certain areas, the court raised concerns regarding the city's green cover. Further, July 13 was declared the next date for this matter, and the court stated that it would subsequently pass an order on merit.

Depleting Green Cover In Delhi

A Delhi police official and certain PWD officials were held guilty of contempt of court for violating judicial orders concerning the preservation and protection of trees on June 3 in a related matter.

The court came down heavily on authorities for carrying out civil construction work despite a restraining order passed by the tree officer. It rebuked the police officers as they did not deter the construction workers and allowed the PWD officials to complete a stormwater drain project, as reported by Live Law.

While emphasizing the importance of even a solitary tree in any neighbourhood, the court had expressed concern over the city's cutting down of fully grown trees. It said transplantation and not felling such trees would be a logical and prudent step.

Stating that there was no other way to mitigate the ecological and environmental degradation in the city, the court on May 19 had stayed any further felling of trees.

Also Read: Delhi Govt To Begin Special Campaign From July 15 On Construction & Demolition Portal

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