DDA aware of L-G visit to forest area: Saurabh Bharadwaj

The minister’s allegation came amid the Supreme Court seeking a “clear” statement from the DDA vice-chairman on whether trees in the ridge area were cut on the orders of the L-G without its consent.
Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj
Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Following Wednesday’s Supreme Court observations on the ‘illegal’ felling of trees in Delhi Ridge’s Satbari forest area, minister Saurabh Bharadwaj took potshots at the DDA and the L-G, claiming that the DDA was well-aware that on February 3, the L-G visited the Satbari forest area and issued a verbal order to cut down the trees.

“The apex court is hearing a matter on felling of 1,100 trees illegally in Delhi Ridge, a reserve forest area, without any legal sanction. When these trees were being cut, I had asked the forest department; yet no action was taken by them. After cutting the trees, DDA went to the Supreme Court to get permission for it, but did not tell the court that the trees had already been cut,” he said.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Bharadwaj alleged that the forest department and the DDA were aware that there was no permission to cut trees on the ridge, yet the trees were axed.

“Everyone is involved in this whole matter. The forest department, the DDA and the L-G, all are involved in this illegal act and together they are working to deceive the Supreme Court,” said a statement by the urban development department quoting the senior AAP leader.

The minister’s allegation came amid the Supreme Court seeking a “clear” statement from the DDA vice-chairman on whether trees in the ridge area were cut on the orders of the L-G without its consent.

Citing a purported communication letter of a DDA official to his superiors regarding the felling of trees, Bharadwaj claimed that the trees were axed in the Satbari area earlier this year on the directions of the L-G, according to the official release. This was done despite the forest department and the DDA knowing there was no permission for such an action, it added.

No immediate reaction was available from the L-G office on these claims.

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