New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) The government-run NBCC India Ltd, that is redeveloping infrastructure in south Delhi requiring axing thousands of trees, on Wednesday directed its contractors not to cut any tree till July 4.
“We have instructed all contractors carrying out redevelopment of three colonies in Delhi by NBCC not to cut any trees. In the event of any breach by any individual or contractor, they will be held responsible for all consequential damages arising there from including contempt of court,” said a company spokesperson.
The NBCC’s direction came in the wake of the Delhi High Court’s June 25 order barring the Central government construction company from axing trees till July 4.
The NBCC is working on redevelopment project – Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Sarojini Nagar. Approximately 13,000 trees will have to be axed in Delhi’s southern region — also one of the greenest areas — in a plan to redevelop three old General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies into 25,000 new flats and a parking space for about 70,000 vehicles.
Earlier on Monday, top NBCC officials said it is the Delhi government that has given permission to cut he trees. According to the approval letters, the Delhi government last year approved axing of 1,454 trees in Nauroji Nagar, and this year approved felling of 2,294 trees in Netaji Nagar.
Separate permission to cut 1,123 trees in Kidwai Nagar has also surfaced, according to the sources.
However, hours after the NBCC’s claims, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain approached the Lt Governor stating that the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directions were flauted by the construction company.
The NGT had ruled, in any such infrastructure development that requires felling of the trees, afforestation was compulsory prior to the cutting of trees.
Meanwhile, to save the trees, several residents, activists and social organisation rallied at Sarojini Nagar on Sunday, and hugged the trees, replicating the famous Chipko movement.