New Delhi, Nov 3 (SocialNews.XYZ) In a contempt plea, the Delhi High Court on Friday criticised the Delhi Government's forest department for allowing the felling of trees in the national Capital, especially considering the recent surge in the Air Quality Index (AQI).
A single-judge Bench presided over by Justice Jasmeet Singh was dealing with a petition by Bhavreen Kandhari, who has sought action against government officers who, despite a clear directive from the court in an April 2022 order, were allegedly not adhering to the requirement of providing reasons for tree felling.
Justice Singh expressed concern, stating, "You (forest department) want people to live in gas chambers? You are responsible for the mess that the citizens of Delhi are in today due to air pollution."
The court stressed on the need for development to coexist with nature and heritage, stating that while the court is not opposing development, it must be balanced with preserving trees.
Justice Singh stressed the importance of finding alternatives to cutting trees when addressing issues like traffic congestion.
The court expressed displeasure with forest officials passing non-reasoned orders for tree felling, despite court directions.
Now, the matter is scheduled for further hearing on November 8.
In September, the court had said that no permission shall be granted to anyone by the authorities here for felling of trees for construction of houses.
Kandhari has expressed concern that authorities were recklessly granting permission for the felling of trees, which prompted the early hearing of the contempt plea.
Advocate Dhairya Gupta, representing the Delhi Government, had on August 31 informed the court that no permission for felling of trees for any individuals will be granted until the next date of hearing, and any required permissions for important projects would be intimated to the court.