Civic work hurting trees: Forest department questions government
Digging work undertaken by various government agencies in different parts of the city has taken a toll on a number of full-grown avenue trees.
NEW DELHI: Digging work undertaken by various government agencies in different parts of the city has taken a toll on a number of full-grown avenue trees. The bases of at least five trees have been damaged in Maharani Bagh and three have been concretised between B and C blocks of New Friends Colony due to the digging and trenching work at two stretches being carried out by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).
At Jahanpanah forest, several trees are feared to have been damaged during the construction of an open gym, says a complaint filed with Delhi Forest Department by a city-based environmentalist. Forest officials said they had issued show-cause notices to the agencies carrying out the said projects. “The next step is a hearing where officials are given an opportunity to explain their position on the complaint. Action will be taken appropriately and restoration of trees, if found damaged, will have to be done by the government agency responsible for the damage caused,” said a senior forest official.
These are avenue trees (along the road) which, besides giving the area a green cover, also act as a filter for air pollution by absorbing vehicular emissions. As per the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, digging within one-metre radius of a tree base is prohibited and a punishable offence. The National Green Tribunal has also stipulated that laying of cement or any other construction material around the base or any part of a tree is an offence and the agency/person responsible will have to de-concretise the trees as well as pay a fine.
“In New Friends Colony…the DJB, while laying pipes on the roadside, dug up the area within one-metre radius of trees and covered it with cement, not leaving any breathing space for the trees, which eventually leads to their decay and death,” said Verhaen Khanna, founder of New Delhi Nature Society.