Constructions in Delhi Ridge: court notice to ministries

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and the ministry of defence (MoD) on a petition seeking a stay on the construction of staff quarters by cutting trees in Delhi’s green Ridge area.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna Wednesday issued the notice seeking their response by Aug 17. It has also sought a reply from the government and the Border Roads Organisation.

The court issued notice while hearing the petition filed by Ashok Kumar Tanwar, a Delhi resident, who said the construction work was in complete violation of environmental norms.

“Direct the concerned respondents to protect the forest land and waste land surrounded at west by Inderpuri road and Naraina Industrial Area,” said the petition, adding that they should also be stopped from illegal activities of quarrying, mining, felling of trees and raising apartments in the Ridge area.

On noticing the environmental degradation around their village, Tanwar wrote to the MoEF in 2005 complaining about the illegal activities under way in the central Ridge area, but nobody took action.

A forest officer of the Delhi government had visited the site and submitted a report in September 2005. According to the report, heavy machinery is being used to take out stones from the area.

“The authorities are failing to perform their statutory duty in protecting the reserve forests and knowingly allowing illegal activities in the area,” the petition adds.



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