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Govt’s fact-finding committee inspects Chattarpur Ridge area

Govt’s fact-finding committee inspects Chattarpur Ridge area


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9

The fact-finding committee of the Delhi Government on Tuesday inspected the Chattarpur Ridge area and said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was destroying evidence by removing tree roots and trunks.

Matter before apex court

  • The Ridge area saw an illegal felling of 1,100 trees for building a road
  • The illegal felling was allegedly ordered by Lieutenant-Governor, says the committee
  • The matter is being heard before the Supreme Court

The Ridge area saw an illegal felling of 1,100 trees for building a road from the Satbari forest area to SAARC Chowk. The matter is currently being heard before the Supreme Court. The committee has alleged that the illegal felling of the trees was allegedly ordered by the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G).

The fact-finding committee comprises ministers Saurabh Bharadwaj, Atishi and Imran Hussain. Bharadwaj pointed out that the DDA was destroying evidence by removing tree roots and trunks and questioned the motives behind the road construction, suggesting “potential corruption”.

Atishi vowed the committee would present its findings to the Supreme Court, calling for strict action against those responsible for the illegal felling of the trees.

“A completely new road has been built from the middle of the Satbari forest area to SAARC Chowk. Earlier there were dense forests at this place. The Supreme Court has banned all work in this area. Despite this, work is going on with bulldozers here. The decision will be taken based on how many trees have been cut by looking at these roots and trunks. Therefore, the DDA is conspiring to uproot these completely and put a layer of soil here.” Bhardwaj said.

He further added that people living around the Ridge area say that the L-G came here many times. “Only the L-G can tell what he came here to do. It was necessary to get permission from the SC before cutting the trees, but in February, the DDA cut the trees without the court’s permission,” he added.

The minister said when the NGO went to court, then the DDA asked for permission from the SC. The apex court had rejected the DDA’s application and asked if there was any other way to widen the road without cutting the trees.

Meanwhile, Atishi said the court also made this remark and asked the officials what was being hidden. “The Delhi Government’s fact-finding committee has also found that the officials are constantly making excuses, not submitting papers and not attending meetings.”

“Delhi has faced a severe heatwave this year. Delhi has a problem of pollution. In such a situation, if trees are cut illegally in the sensitive ecosystem zone of Delhi, and this work is done under the supervision of the highest authority, who will take care of the interests of the people of Delhi?” Atishi asked.

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