Stop felling of Trees till July 19 for Redevelopment project: NGT

The NGT disallowed the felling of more than 17,000 trees for construction of homes to government employees and a commercial complex in South Delhi.

The NGT directed the NBCC (National Buildings Construction Corporation) and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) not to go ahead with felling of trees till July 19th. 2018. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to CPWD, Central Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The plan to redevelop Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar was envisaged by former Urban Development Minister Ajay Maken who is now the head of Congress in Delhi. The NGT also directed the agencies responsible for the execution of the project to make a categorical statement on the number of trees that will be cut for the project. The petition was filed by an NGO – Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, and Traditions & Promotion of National Awareness.

The petitioner alleged that the centre had ignored several aspects and given the clearance for the project for cutting more than 16,500 trees. The Delhi High Court had ‘stayed’ the felling of trees till July 4th.

What is the Re-development Scheme?
The re-development plan aims to replace the existing flats and increase the built up area which is currently 7.49 lakh square metres to 29.18 lakh sq metres with supporting infrastructure facilities.

Playing petty politics at the cost of worsening the Environment of Delhi without a policy to overcome the adverse air quality
The BJP, Congress and AAP are equally to blame for the current crisis. The Air Quality Index (AQI). In the last decade Delhi has lost thousands of trees under the pretext of development. More than 15,000 trees were felled for different projects between 2014 and 2017. The three phases of Delhi Metro construction saw the destruction of more than 46,000 trees according to facts made available in the Delhi High Court. The political parties engaging in a war of words over the destruction of trees need to shed their blame game to ensure the trees are not cut to accommodate the ‘Babus’. The BJP, Congress and the AAP have not bothered to implement the Comprehensive Clean Air Action Plan issued by the Supreme Court of India. The Central Government and the Delhi State Government despite being rapped by NGT and Supreme Court repeatedly have no plan in place to ensure the improvement of Air Quality is improved.