Supreme Court raps Delhi Development Authority over felling of trees in ridge area, proposes massive plantation : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court raps Delhi Development Authority over felling of trees in ridge area, proposes massive plantation

A vacation bench said it proposes to hold a detailed enquiry into the acts of DDA which resulted in destruction of several valuable trees and consequentially degradation of environment

Supreme Court raps Delhi Development Authority over felling of trees in ridge area, proposes massive plantation

The apex court said it was very shocking that the trees were cut despite knowing that it cannot be done without the permission of the top court. Representative image/File photo



PTI

New Delhi, June 24

Observing that brazen acts of tree felling in the national capital cannot be brushed aside lightly, the Supreme Court on Monday sought a “clear” statement from the vice chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) about whether trees in the ridge area were cut on the orders of the lieutenant governor without its permission.

A vacation bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan said it proposes to hold a detailed enquiry into the acts of the DDA which resulted in destruction of several valuable trees and consequentially degradation of the environment.

The apex court said it was very shocking that the trees were cut despite knowing that it cannot be done without the permission of the top court.

“Such brazen acts in the capital city cannot be lightly brushed aside by this court. If the authorities are not performing their statutory and constitutional duties of protecting the environment, the court has to give a clear and loud signal to all authorities that the environment cannot be damaged in such a fashion,” the bench said.

“We direct the vice chairman to state before the court about whether any official record is available regarding the site visit of the Lieutenant Governor on February 3 and on what transpired on the visit of the LG. We need a clear statement of facts from the vice chairman, because if what is indicated in the emails is correct, then the felling of the trees was on the directions by the LG. We expect the DDA to come clean on this aspect,” the top court said while issuing contempt notices to the DDA officers concerned.

The top court said it proposes to issue directions for a massive tree plantation drive in the entire national capital territory of Delhi and asked the DDA and Attorney General R Venkataramani to assist it in the matter. The matter will now be heard on June 26.

The apex court had earlier issued a notice of criminal contempt against DDA vice chairman Subhasish Panda for allowing large-scale felling of trees in the southern Ridge's Satbari area to construct a road from Chhattarpur to South Asian University.

It had expressed displeasure over a “misleading” affidavit filed by the vice chairman and presenting “wrong facts” before the court. It also directed planting of 100 new trees for each tree felled by the DDA.

#Environment #Supreme Court


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