The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today made it clear that its order staying cutting of trees of the green belt in Vasant Kunj area here is not a restraint on any other civic work going on there.

A vacation bench of the NGT headed by Justice U D Salvi also issued notices to the Delhi government and public works department (PWD) and sought their response on a plea by the residents of sectors A and D of Vasant Kunj that construction of a storm drainage system there has been stopped half-way due to the tribunal’s stay on cutting of trees.

“Issue notice to parties (Delhi government and PWD). Let it be clarified that order dated March 18, 2013 merely directs the respondents not to fell trees, except where prior permission for felling trees has been obtained from forest department, and nothing more,” the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on July 10.

The tribunal also observed that “with onset of monsoons, the difficulty of the residents will be further compounded with the project (of road widening and construction of a storm drainage system) coming to a standstill”.

In their plea, the All Residents Welfare Society of sector 8 submitted that with the area around their homes already dug up and electric and telephone cables as well as water and gas pipelines lying exposed, the onset of monsoons would spell disaster for them.

The residents alleged that when they met the officials of the PWD, DJB etc. To help them out, the civic agencies refused on the ground that they cannot resume work there due to the NGT’s stay order of March 18.

The NGT’s March 18 order was passed on a plea of a resident of the area who had contended that several trees have been cut for the PWD’s road widening project without obtaining any prior permission from the competent authority.

As the work in the area came to a standstill, the other residents approached the NGT.

Courtesy: Business Standard