NEW DELHI: Four pilkhan trees, with some of their roots cut from the ground and left damaged at south Delhi's Bipinchandra Pal Marg, CR Park, are striving hard to survive. The full-grown trees have allegedly been damaged by the Public Works Department (PWD) while carrying out digging for a construction project on the stretch.
According to the forest department officials, an inspection of the stretch has been done and a report of the same is yet to be submitted. "We have received a complaint regarding some trees being damaged during construction at the stretch. We will take action and levy penalty on the defaulting agency if and depending on the extent of damage done to the trees," said a senior forest official.
Environment activist Verhaen Khanna, who has filed the complaint with the forest department's south division, said that some of the roots of the trees have been cut during the digging work. These trees were around 30 years old and if remained healthy, these could have survived for two more decades.
"With the roots damaged, the trees can be uprooted anytime and even fall off on passersby. It is the roots dug in the soil from which the trees take their nutrients. Tampering with their roots will eventually weaken their foundation and cut their life span," said Khanna.
Filling concrete or carrying out any construction activity within one metre radius of a tree trunk is a violation under the Delhi Trees Preservation Act, 1994 as well as of directions issued under the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) 2013 order.
Also, a Delhi High Court order of March this year stated that there must be at least two metres gap from the trees while carrying out construction activities.
However, a senior PWD official said that digging activity had to be carried out for the construction project, remedial measures were taken to restore any trees that were damaged in the process. "We have already taken remedial measures and will ensure no tree is damaged in the process," the official added.
Healthy 30-year-old trees tampered while digging
Some of the roots of the trees have been cut during the digging work. These trees were around 30 years old and if remained healthy, these could have survived for two more decades. Tampering with the roots of the trees will eventually weaken their foundation and cut their life span, said a forest official