‘No Tree Will Be Cut,’ says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, trolled over a plan to cut 17,000 trees in Delhi to make way for an office and residential complex for government officers, has declared that “no tree will be cut” on his watch. At the same time, he appeared to indicate on Monday that the plan would not be scrapped.

“Till the time I am a minister no tree will be cut and for every tree that is cut we will plant 10 trees. Green cover will go up by three times after re-development of seven colonies in South Delhi,” Mr Puri said, adding, “Young activists are too fast to blame.”

Several residents of Delhi have expressed outrage on social media over the plan to cut down trees at seven south Delhi colonies to make way for government flats, offices and commercial space in what is being described as “redevelopment”.

Meanwhile, KK Mishra, who had filed a public interest Litigation (PIL) in the Delhi High Court over the same, hoped that the court took cognizance of the matter and put a stay on the order.

“More than 20,000 trees will be cut in main south Delhi area. A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report states there is a deficit of nine lakh trees in Delhi. I hope the court will put a stay on the order,” Mishra told ANI.

Mishra also stated how over 20,000 trees were slated to be cut in the main South Delhi area.

Locals in the national capital are protesting since June 22. Held under the ‘Delhi Trees SOS’ campaign, the protests were called to aware people about the redevelopment project and urge the government to avoid cutting trees for the same.

Residents, on Sunday, continued their protest against felling of trees under the re-development project in Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar and Netaji Nagar areas.

Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha called the entire situation “unfortunate,” saying the city at present did not need beautification but the strength to breathe.

Jha further accused state-owned construction firm NBCC (India) Ltd of violating rules, saying it did not do the compensatory afforestation as promised and the budget allocated for it was never used for the environment.