HC stops axe dangling officers from felling thousands of trees

Redevelopment of six south Delhi colonies not to begin till further orders

New Delhi

Authorities, infamously dangling those worrisome axes at all times have been asked by Delhi HC not to fell any of the 16,500 trees they proposed to cut down for the redevelopment of six south Delhi colonies.

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. Residents have expressed a sense of relies at the order pronounced by the court on Monday.

A bench of Justice Vinod Goel and Justice Rekha Palli directed the National Buildings Construction Corp (NBCC) not to cut the trees till 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 orthopedic 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 over 16,500 trees.

The six south Delhi colonies 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.

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