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Delhi High Court seeks Centre, govt stand on tree plantation plea

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to various government agencies including the Delhi government and Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), among others on a plea seeking to ascertain the number and species of saplings planted in the city over the past five years, the costs incurred, the survival rate and directions to plantation agencies to mandatorily maintain all compensatory plantations for a period of 8 to 10 years.   

The HC issued notices to all agencies that carry out plantations in the city including Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Biodiversity Council and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), among others.  

Chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma directed the authorities to file replies on the writ petition moved by environmentalist Diwan Singh, raising the issue of bulk or single-day plantations carried out by government agencies, which are “ecologically inconsequential and”, which are being done to achieve “numerical targets and publicise achievements merely.”

The petition further raised the issue of severe scarcity of land available for plantations, the “erroneous” manner of plantations done highly close to each other, which result in canopies that are unable to absorb pollution, apart from the lack of maintenance in the initial years of plantation, leading to high mortality.

Appearing for the petitioner, Akash Vashishtha, the advocate argued that none of the agencies carrying out plantations are maintaining proper records. “The CAG report in 2018 highlighted the virtually defunct Delhi Tree Authority. No information pertaining to the plantations are available on the websites due to which people don’t access such important information,” he said. 

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to various government agencies including the Delhi government and Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), among others on a plea seeking to ascertain the number and species of saplings planted in the city over the past five years, the costs incurred, the survival rate and directions to plantation agencies to mandatorily maintain all compensatory plantations for a period of 8 to 10 years.   

The HC issued notices to all agencies that carry out plantations in the city including Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Biodiversity Council and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), among others.  

Chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma directed the authorities to file replies on the writ petition moved by environmentalist Diwan Singh, raising the issue of bulk or single-day plantations carried out by government agencies, which are “ecologically inconsequential and”, which are being done to achieve “numerical targets and publicise achievements merely.”

The petition further raised the issue of severe scarcity of land available for plantations, the “erroneous” manner of plantations done highly close to each other, which result in canopies that are unable to absorb pollution, apart from the lack of maintenance in the initial years of plantation, leading to high mortality.

Appearing for the petitioner, Akash Vashishtha, the advocate argued that none of the agencies carrying out plantations are maintaining proper records. “The CAG report in 2018 highlighted the virtually defunct Delhi Tree Authority. No information pertaining to the plantations are available on the websites due to which people don’t access such important information,” he said. 



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