GURGAON: The National Green Tribunal has taken up the issue of rampant felling of trees on Golf Course Road by a private developer and HUDA on a suo motu basis following a report by TOI in May this year. The tribunal has sent a communique to the headquarters of HUDA and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) to appear for a hearing scheduled for July 4.

TOI had reported about tree felling from Shankar Chowk on NH-8 to Sector 55-56 where permission was taken from the forest department to cut 1,055 trees in April 2012. These have already been felled. A further permission has been sought to cut 1,057 more trees in the same area.

According to a city-based NGO, Haryali, “Nobody has bothered to check the compensatory plantation that was required in lieu of the felled trees. As per rules, they should have planted 10,550 plants and ensured their survival for the next seven years, but nothing has been done and they are ready to cut 1,057 more.”

Vivek Khamboj, founder of the NGO, said, “It has come to our notice that the compensatory plantation is proposed to be done on green belts and parks by the HUDA horticulture division. This is a joke. Green belts and parks are meant to be green. This plantation is obligatory and compensatory. Plantation in designated green belts being passed as compensatory plantation is perverted logic and manipulation being perpetrated by Government officials against the interest of the Citizens and in obvious connivance with the builders. This falsehood is punishable by law. For compensatory plantation land has to be identified, planted and survival of planted saplings ensured. We, the people, are watching.”

DLF and HUDA are in the process of widening the stretch to make it into a 16-lane highway from 60 metres to 78 metres.

According to a source, the forest department plans to make a submission opposing the move by the developer stating that while a National Highway (NH-8) is eight lanes which is approximately 60 metres as compared to making a sector road as wide as 16 lanes and 78 metres.