NEW DELHI: Public sector infrastructure major NBCC, which had proposed to cut down about 16,500 trees in seven government colonies for their redevelopment, is going ahead with demolition at Sarojini Nagar despite a court stay, a green activist alleged on Thursday.
But, the public sector construction major contended that its workforce was only “pruning” trees. “These are on the basis of permissions we have received from the Delhi forest department even in October,” a NBCC official said.
The green activist, however, pointed that no such permission was valid as a bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon on 4 October 2018 declared all the green clearances granted to the NBCC null
This was in the aftermath of a huge public campaign erupted over the proposed felling of about 16,500 trees in the old government colonies. Moreover, it was found out that the Environment Impact Assessment reports, on the basis of which the project got the nod, were plagiarized. For the Delhi-based project, several paragraphs had mention of lakes in Tamil Nadu.
Sarojini Nagar’s location was pointed out on a map as located between Punjab and Haryana. There was no mention made of the 16,500 trees needed to be felled and this was passed off as just some “vegetation” in the report, the activist claimed.
“When the High Court says ‘no construction’, it means no construction. Demolition, after all, is a part of construction work. The next date of hearing in this matter in the High Court is 23 and 24 January. But we feel that even before the court arrives at a judgement, NBCC has assumed that it will win and has resumed work,” Vimlendu Jha of NGO ‘Sweccha India’ said.
In its last order, the High Court had directed the NBCC to apply for a fresh environment clearance for the redevelopment of Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Thyagaraja Nagar, Mohammadpur, Kasturba Nagar and Srinivaspuri.