Contempt plea in HC against NBCC for tree cutting

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New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) A petition was filed in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking contempt action against the National Buildings Construction Corp (NBCC), tasked with redeveloping six south Delhi colonies, for allegedly violating its undertaking to the court not to cut trees till July 4 for residential projects here.

The contempt petition was mentioned before a bench of Justice Vinod Goel and Justice Rekha Palli which posted the plea, filed by environmentalist Vimlendu Jha, for hearing on July 4 along with the main petition.

While hearing the main plea, which had sought setting aside of the terms of reference and environmental clearance granted to the project by the Environment Ministry, the bench on June 25 asked the NBCC not to axe till July 4 the 16,500 trees set to be cut for the residential project.

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In the contempt plea, Jha alleged that there was “deliberate and willful default” of the June 25 undertaking given to the court by the NBCC.

He said that the alleged contemnor (NBCC CMD) had undertaken not to cut trees in areas concerned till July 4 but on Tuesday he noticed that the officials and workers of NBCC were cutting trees in Netaji Nagar in south Delhi.

A police complaint had been filed and he sought contempt action against authorities, the plea added.

On Monday, the court asked the NBCC not to cut the trees till the next date of hearing and the NBCC had assured the bench that it will not chop any tree till July 4.

The main petition was filed by orthopaedic surgeon Kaushal Kant Mishra against the Environment Ministry’s order, saying that it would lead to felling of over 16,500 trees.

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The six south Delhi colonies where the trees would be felled are Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Mohammadpur and Kasturba Nagar.

All these areas are home to government employees where the Central government is pulling down houses built in the 1950s and replacing them with high-rise buildings.

Besides the NBCC, the project is also being executed by the Central Public Works Department.

–IANS

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