The residents in and around south Delhi, who have been protesting day and night over the unmindful cutting of trees can now heave a sigh of relief. The national green court has ordered that no trees can be cut at least till July 19 for the controversial housing project.
The housing project that requires cutting of about 17,000 trees to clear the way for homes for government employees had been put on hold by the Delhi High Court last week. The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) have been ordered by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to maintain status quo of not cutting the trees for the redevelopment of seven south Delhi colonies until further orders.
According to a report from NDTV, the tribunal was hearing a plea by an NGO which affirmed that environmental clearance has been granted for seven central government residential colonies without taking into account the project’s adverse impact on the ecology.
The information about the exact number of trees which are proposed to be cut for the redevelopment project has to be provided to the green panel. The bench headed by acting NGT chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim will hear the case on July 19. Agencies overseeing the project were questioned by the High Court if the green tribunal had approved the cutting of trees.
The redevelopment plan involving areas under Sarojini Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Srinivaspuri, and Mohammadpur triggered huge protests with residents rubbishing the government’s assurance that an equal number of saplings will be planted to compensate for the loss. Environmentalists argue that saplings cannot replace fully grown trees for years in Delhi, which is among the most-polluted cities in the world.