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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Arbitrary felling on, suggests RTI pleas

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 29, 2013
First Published: 23:57 IST(29/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:59 IST(29/3/2013)

It’s not only the compensatory plantation that the three divisions of the Delhi forest department claim they are ignorant about.

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Even trees are being felled in an arbitrary manner for Metro phase III expansion, replies to an RTI application filed by HT have suggested.  

Sample these: The west division has said it doesn’t have information on the total number of trees sought to be felled. Interestingly, it has allowed felling of 5,974 trees and these have already been cut. It also has four applications pending with it.

The south division has allowed felling of 3,382 trees. But it said it doesn’t know the total number of trees sought to be felled or felled so far, saying the matter is related to the DMRC. The north division has admitted that it has received six tree-felling applications for 4,231 trees. It has also admitted that permission has been granted for felling of 2,200 trees and four applications are under process. But it has said it doesn’t know how many trees have been cut.

The three divisions have said they don’t have information on the quantum of land needed for the plantation of saplings to make up for this massive green loss. The south division has said, “Land requirement can be worked out by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The information can be obtained from them.” The other two divisions have resorted to “no information available.”

Asked about the reasons for pending applications, the south division evaded the question. While the north division cited reasons such as non-submission of documents and security deposits, its west counterpart refused to give a clear answer.

As per the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, the forest department has to ensure 10 saplings are planted for each tree felled.


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