New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday wrote to Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Harsh Vardhan and Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri demanding various clearances for a number of Central government employees’ colonies, for which thousands of trees were to be cut in the national capital.
The documents he sought were an Environment clearance dated November 27, 2017, and all the other environment clearances granted by the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry for these General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies along with the Environment Impact Assessment reports for these projects.
“In order to fully understand/appreciate the concerns of all the stakeholders and to ensure equity and justice to all, it is requested that following documents may kindly be made available to the Environment and Forest Department, Government of NCT of Delhi for further examination,” he wrote in the letter to Harsh Vardhan.
He also demanded a copy of the assessment by the Central Groundwater Authority with regard to the impact on groundwater and complete project report and the MoU between the government and the NBCC or any other party with respect to these projects.
In the letter to Puri, he also said that he was “made to understand that these projects are being taken up on behalf of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs”.
The Central government-run construction company NBCC will chop 16,500 trees in different areas of south Delhi including Sarojini Nagar and Nauroji Nagar to construct flats for Central government employees.
The issue of cutting of trees for the redevelopment of these colonies triggered a blame game between the Central and the Delhi government since last week with Harsh Vardhan claiming that the Delhi government was responsible for granting the permission for tree cutting in the non-forest areas while the Delhi government claimed that that the clearance for the same was issued by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry in November last year.