HC asks Delhi govt to decide complaint alleging 77 missing trees in Sarvodaya Enclave

  • | Thursday | 14th October, 2021

New Delhi, Oct 14 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to decide within six weeks a complaint alleging that 77 trees have gone missing in Sarvodaya Enclav area here over a span of seven years. Justice Rekha Palli directed that a reasoned and speaking order be passed by DCF (South) & Tree Officer, South Division, Department of Forests & Wildlife on the complaint made by Bhavreen Kandhari in December 2020. The court was hearing a petition by Khandhari — an environmental activist — seeking a direction that necessary action be taken on her complaint within four weeks. Delhi government counsel said that there was no objection with respect to deciding the petitioner"s complaint expeditiously. “In the light of the aforesaid stand taken by the respondent, the writ petition, along with the pending application, is disposed of by directing the respondent to decide the petitioner"s complaint dated 08.12.2020 by passing a reasoned and speaking order within a period of six weeks from today,” the court ordered on October 11. The judge clarified that it was not expressing any opinion on the claims but said that if the petitioner was aggrieved by the order passed by the authorities, it would be open for her to take legal recourse as per law. In her petition, filed through lawyers Aditya N Prasad and Dhriti Chhabra, the petitioner stated that she made a complaint to the concerned official after two Tree Censuses, that were conducted in Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi in 2011-2012 and 2018-2019, showed found that 77 trees had gone missing in the colony. “The 2012 Census was concluded with the recommendation of the immediate planting of 1000 trees in Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi to ensure that the green cover in the colony was maintained. Nevertheless, another Tree Census that was conducted in the aforesaid colony in the years 2018 and 2019 revealed that the street tree count in the colony had dropped from 784 to 731 trees over a span of 7 years despite the addition of 21 new trees,” the petition said. "The Complaint was predominantly based on the inconsistencies between two Tree Censuses that were conducted in Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi in the years, 2011 & 2012 and 2018 & 2019 as per which it was found that 77 trees had gone missing in the colony over a span of 7 years," it added. The petitioner informed that the concerned authority neither acknowledged nor acted upon the requests made in the complaint for initiation of necessary legal action against the “illegal felling” under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994. The plea added that the petitioner was acting in consonance with Article 51(A)(g) of the Constitution of India by discharging her fundamental duty to make efforts to protect and improve the natural environment. PTI ADS SA

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