Revoke permission to cut trees, Delhi government tells L-G

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New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Delhi Environment and Forest Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday said the AAP government had written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to seek revocation of permission to cut trees for redevelopment projects in south Delhi.

Talking to reporters here, the Minister said that a penalty should be imposed on user agency for alleged violations in redevelopment projects in Kidwai Nagar, Nauroji Nagar and Netaji Nagar.

“A note has been forwarded to the L-G, recommending revocation of tree cutting permission in all General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies under the redevelopment projects and for taking penal action against user agency for various violations,” Hussain said.

“The project in Kidwai Nagar, for which permission was given in 2013-14, was almost ready, but no re-plantation drive was taken up. The permission was given for cutting of about 5,600 trees for the three projects, of which 3,300 were chopped. But no re-plantation has been done,” the Minister said.

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In the note, Hussain wrote that the agency had “failed” to carry out necessary compensatory tree plantation and in making available a site to the city Forest Department for the same, which amounts to “violation of the National Green Tribunal’s orders”.

“As per media reports, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has announced that the NBCC and his Ministry are redesigning the entire project to ensure no further cutting of trees. Hence, permissions given so far are redundant.

“Hence, the GNCTD (Delhi government) has decided to revoke all permissions granted so far in respect of unfelled trees,” Hussain wrote.

He also “recommended that tree cutting permission to the user agency may be revoked in all these GPRA colonies and penal action as per the law may be initiated.”

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Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also said actions should be taken against those involved in violation of rules.

“There were violations of rules. There is a court order that if one tree is chopped, 10 should be planted. When the Minister checked, it was found that re-plantation has not been started.

“Even the land for re-plantation was not handed over to the Forest Department. Due to these reasons, it has been decided to revoke the permission order for these projects. The file for the same has been forwarded to the L-G,” Sisodia said.

–IANS

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