Delhi HC warns of ‘barren desert’ amid record high temperature

The HC observation was made during proceedings on the establishment of a departmental committee for forest preservation in Delhi, chaired by former judge Justice Najmi Waziri as requested by the high court on April 4.
A young man bathes under a tube well on a hot summer day amid the heatwave.
A young man bathes under a tube well on a hot summer day amid the heatwave.(Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has expressed grave concern over the city’s environmental future, noting a recent recorded temperature of 52.9 degrees Celsius.

The HC has warned that continued deforestation could eventually turn Delhi into a barren desert.

The IMD has clarified that a maximum temperature of 52.9 degrees Celsius recorded at Mungeshpur on May 29 was due to a sensor error.

The HC observation was made during proceedings on the establishment of a departmental committee for forest preservation in Delhi, chaired by former judge Justice Najmi Waziri as requested by the high court on April 4.

A single-judge bench of Justice Tushar Rao Gedela stated in a May 31 order, “Judicial notice is taken of the fact that as recent as on 30.05.2024, the official temperature recorded in Delhi was 52.9 degrees Celsius. It is not far to see the day when this city may be only a barren desert, in case the present generation continues an apathetic view on the deforestation.”

During the May 31 hearing, the court reviewed a report from Justice Waziri, highlighting the need for infrastructure for the committee. The chief conservator of forests informed the court that these requirements had been approved by the minister of the general administration department and would be presented to the cabinet and the L-G for final approval.

Amicus curiae advocate Gautam Narayan emphasised the urgency of providing the necessary resources without delays, noting “the infrastructure and other facilities required for efficient administration and discharge of the responsibilities upon the learned chairperson have to be complied with at the earliest and not entangle them with red-tapism.” Justice Gedela directed that approval should not be delayed beyond June 15 and infrastructure development should be completed within 15 days thereafter.

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