New Delhi [India], November 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Delhi government and others on a plea seeking quashing of the latter's order for felling or transplantation of 315 trees for the re-development of Ayur Vigyan Nagar.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan sought the response of Delhi government and others on the public interest litigation (PIL) moved by Abhishek Dutt, a Municipal Councillor from Andrews Ganj Ward, through advocate Varun Chopra and slated the matter for further hearing on December 11.
Chopra argued that while the COVID-19 pandemic is underway and the air quality is already very poor, the taking away of these 315 trees is almost like taking away 315 lungs and ultimately deteriorating the air quality, which is already severe.
He submitted that the petitioner is seeking quashing of the order, which allowed large-scale destruction of the vegetation and tree cover of New Delhi for the purposes of government redevelopment, wholly ignoring the air pollution and serious environmental concerns that affect the health of the citizens of the capital.
The plea said deputy conservator of forest (south) has passed the impugned order without any application of mind and has not recorded any reasons for necessity to grant approval to such large scale project, which would cause massive damage to the critical green cover of NCR.
It submitted that the petitioner is seeking quashing of the "unreasoned and arbitrary" impugned order where large-scale destruction of the vegetation and tree cover of New Delhi for the purposes of government redevelopment is allowed which, it said wholly ignores the air pollution and serious environmental concerns that affect the health of the citizens of the capital.
"The planting of saplings in a different location would be absolutely no substitute for the trees that are being cut today. The record of Tree Authority, recent news articles and CAG report all point to the utter failure of the Respondents in ensuring that compensatory plantation in its present form is not adequate and a mere excuse to damage the green cover of NCR to make way for concrete jungles," the plea said. (ANI)