A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court to challenge the decision of the Forest Department, Delhi government, giving clearance for cutting down of 16,500 trees for the purpose of revamping south Delhi.
The petition has been filed by Mhir Garg who has alleged that the decision violates the fundamental rights of the citizens and that it is taken illegally, arbitrarily and without proper application of mind.
The petitioner has stated in his petition that the level of pollution in Delhi is in a very critical situation where the current average pollution level of Delhi is already at 300 Air Quality Index which falls in the category that risks life and limb of people, and if we cut more trees, it will simply make Delhi a “gas chamber.”
Further, the Plea states that “A simple, small plant cannot take the place of a tree. It is necessary that a tree must be replaced by a tree not by a plant or a sapling in order to make a balance to the ecology” and “Current situation of Delhi is critical, if, further trees are allowed to be cut, then people will die in huge numbers.”
The Petitioner has put the blame on the government for failing to take necessary steps to make sure that the fundamental rights of the residents to have a clean environment is protected.
The plea sought direction to the government to use more environment-friendly ways such as vacuum cleaners for cleaning the roads and banning the use of coal-based ‘tandoors' till the time the situation does not become normal.