Green tribunal hauls up forest dept, PWD, DTC

NEW DELHI: A week after Hindustan Times reported that despite repeated orders from the National Green Tribunal to remove concrete from around tree bases and ensure there is no choking in future, civic authorities have remained defiant. This has led to the environment court taking up the issue yet again.

The tribunal on Tuesday issued contempt notices to the forest department, Public Works Department, Delhi University and the Delhi Transport Corporation. HT on September 30 had carried a report “Despite order, more than 100 trees choked on cement”.

The tribunal, on April 23, had initially ordered de-choking of trees in the Capital. Government agencies have since then missed several deadlines. These departments will on October 23 explain before the tribunal why they should not face action for violation of orders.

A contempt petition cited the HT report and said more than 100 trees on a 2-km stretch of Safiabad Road in Narela have been choked on cement. This happened when the road which connects Sonepat to Delhi was taken up for repair by the PWD, the petition says.

HT had also reported that in an RTI reply, Delhi University had said in July that it was preparing a budget to free trees from concrete. In another reply in September, it stated the same.

The report also quoted the DTC as admitting that a message (to free trees of nails and signboards) was flashed to all depot managers and regional managers, but very few depots have got back.

Submitting copies of RTI replies, the contempt petition says, “DU has failed to give effect to the directions of the tribunal. DTC has also not removed its bus stand signs from trees and continues to install new ones. The forest department has remained a mute spectator in the midst of all the havoc that has been caused to the environment. The department is in the knowledge of the above mentioned derelictions, however, no action has been taken. It must investigate the matter and take action.” The petition has sought action against these departments.

Courtesy: thehindustantimes