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The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed civic agencies to speed up the process of removing concrete from around trees in the national capital to enable their better growth and granted them three months to complete the work.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi government to complete the process within three months.

According to a status report by the MCD, of the total 9,395 trees to be deconcretised, work on 5,223 trees has been completed.

‘However, it is pointed out that some of the zonal maintenance divisions are yet to complete their survey work for identification of trees and subsequent deconcretisation around them,’ the MCD counsel submitted.

The court pulled up the DDA for not filing the status report on time.

It was hearing a public interest petition filed by S.C. Jain, who pointed out that trees on pavements in the city were falling because their roots were becoming weak due to concretisation of pavements.

Appearing for the petitioner, lawyer Sugreev Dubey had earlier contended that ‘trees were getting uprooted even during minor storms, which in turn lead to huge jams across the capital’.

He cited the heavy rains that lashed the city July 27 last year and said: ‘The roots of the trees are destroyed because they get little space to grow and anchor the trees. The concrete pavements prevent adequate supply of water needed for growth of roots.’

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