Cutting of trees continues; contempt plea in HC against NBCC

New Delhi: A plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court seeking contempt action against the NBCC for allegedly violating its undertaking not to cut trees till July 4 for housing projects here.

The contempt petition was mentioned before a vacation bench of justices Vinod Goel and Rekha Palli who said it would be heard on July 4 along with the main plea which has sought setting aside of the terms of reference (ToR) and Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to the project by the Environment Ministry, claiming it would lead to felling of over 16,500 trees.

The contempt plea was filed by environmentalist Vimlendu Jha alleging that there was deliberate and willful default of June 25 undertaking given to the court by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), tasked with redeveloping half a dozen south Delhi colonies.

It said that as per the June 25 order, the alleged contemnor (NBCC CMD) had undertaken not to cut trees in areas concerned till July 4 but yesterday, Jha noticed that the officials and workers of NBCC were felling trees in Netaji Nagar in south Delhi.

The NBCC had made the statement after the bench had asked,”Can Delhi today afford cutting down of so many trees for a housing complex? We could understand if it was a road-widening work which is inevitable.”
The court was hearing a PIL by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra against felling of trees for housing projects in six south Delhi colonies — Sarojini Nagar, Naoroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Mohammadpur and Kasturba Nagar.

A similar issue would be heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 2.

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