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Can Delhi Afford to cut down 16,500 Trees: Delhi HC asks NBCC

The Delhi High Court asked today on June 25th, 2018 how the national capital can afford the cutting down of over 16,500 trees for a housing project.

The High Court was hearing a plea that was filed to challenge the decision of the Forest Department, Delhi government, giving clearance for cutting down of 16,500 trees to revamp south Delhi. The Delhi High Court has asked the right question at the right time: "Can Delhi afford cutting of thousands of trees for the housing complex.”

After the views expressed by the court which appeared inclined to order an interim stay of the tree cutting process, National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) agreed not to cut any tree till July 4 and made the statement before a vacation bench of Justice Vinod Goel and Justice Rekha Palli.

Court has asked NBCC to "stay its hands" till July 2 when a similar issue would be heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and asked the petitioner, an orthopaedic surgeon, to approach the tribunal.

Senior advocate J P Seng representater of NBCC told the court that it has also deposited Rs. eight crore with the tree authority for permission to fell trees.

Central government standing counsel Ripudaman Bhardwaj, appearing for ministries of Environment and Housing, said the ECs given by the Centre were in accordance with the earlier orders of the NGT.

The court gave the petitioner, Dr. Kaushal Kant Mishra, time till July 4th, 2018 to amend his plea and challenge the tree authority's decision.


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