Trees essential part of people’s lives, can’t be cut needlessly: Delhi HC


Stressing the need of protecting trees in cities, the Delhi High Court has observed that trees, that form an essential part of people’s lives, are not allowed to be cut needlessly or wantonly.

“In this capital city with its ever-burgeoning populating, the cacophony of voices and rampant commercialisation of every other street – robbing the residents of the familiar ambience of their residential neighborhood, the ever-increasing motor-vehicular traffic, the choking air pollution and the ever-creeping concretisation, trees hold out as welcome and assuring living entities of hope, sanity, environmental redemption and even companionship. The more solitary the tree, the greater its significance,” said Justice Najmi Waziri in an order dated April 28.

The observation came after advocate Aditya N. Prasad, petitioner’s counsel in a contempt case informed the court that a tree is cut down every hour in Delhi under official sanction.

“This is a worrying issue because on the one side, the endeavour is said to be underway to maintain and augment the green cover of Delhi while simultaneously fully grown trees are allowed to be cut down. This self-defeating exercise by the Forest Department, GNCTD needs to be arrested at the earliest,” he argued.

The bench said: “In the circumstances, it would be appropriate that the Tree Officer(s) give due consideration to transplantation of each tree which is sought to be cut, before granting any further permission for cutting of trees. This would entail inspection of the trees which are sought. The reason for grant or denial of permission would have to be spelled out in the order of the Tree Officer along with photographs of each tree.”

The matter will be further heard on Thursday.



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