Case against DU for illegal cutting of trees

NEW DELHI:The Delhi University is facing charges of illegal tree felling on the South Campus for expansion of its Electronic Science and Life Sciences Departments.

Tribune News Service 

New Delhi, February 17

The Delhi University is facing charges of illegal tree felling on the South Campus for expansion of its Electronic Science and Life Sciences Departments. 

An FIR has been lodged at the South Campus police station under the Delhi Trees Preservation Act, 1994, on the basis of a complaint lodged by one Raj Kumar Paswan, an RTI activist with the Delhi Forest Department.

However, the varsity administration has denied the allegations and said the contract had been awarded to RITES, a Government of India establishment, and securing all requisite clearances was the latter's responsibility. 

“The work of extension of Electronics Science and Life Sciences Departments has been awarded to RITES and getting permission is the responsibility of the agency concerned. The DU administration is out of the picture,” said a senior DU official.

He said a committee to look into the matter had also been set up.

The varsity administration said the Engineering Department had forwarded details of the matter to the Forest Department and the Delhi police. 

“The university doesn't have any information on FIR. Moreover, RITES applied for required clearances,” said the official. 

Paswan said the first incident of tree-cutting happened on November 24, 2015.

He said he sent a written complaint on January 25 to the Deputy Conservator of Forest (West) following which the Forest Department's staff visited the site.

“Trees were illegally cut and officials on inspection found that 38 number tree had been cut down. An FIR was lodged this week against the top officials of the DU South Campus,” said Paswan, who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket from Bihar's Hajipur. 

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