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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Green tribunal slaps contempt charges against govt agencies

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 23, 2013
First Published: 22:59 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 23:03 IST(23/8/2013)

The National Green Tribunal on Friday issued contempt notices against government agencies for causing trees to fall during removal of concrete from around their bases.

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Hindustan Times had on August 8 first reported the use of JCB earth-moving machines - normally used for heavy-duty demolition - in removing cement, digging out soil and in turn damaging trunks and roots.

Taking cognizance of the report, the tribunal had the same day ordered government agencies to cure the trees which they had damaged. The tribunal had also ruled that those found causing the damage again would be fined. 

But the use of such machines continued, damaging a large number of trees across Delhi. The tribunal on Friday said, "…action needs to be taken against such mischief. …we ask why they be not directed for compensating damage to trees and environment."

"From the application (seeking contempt proceedings) and photographs annexed, we are satisfied that the prima facie the agencies have violated the orders of this tribunal and have employed reckless mechanism for de-concretisation of trees," the tribunal said.

The tribunal has issued notices to various agencies, including the contractor executing the work of de-concretisation as well as the executive engineer of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The applicants cited several cases of tree damage in Chittranjan Park and Seikh Sarai. The matter would be heard next on August 29.

The tribunal has ordered the Delhi Development Authority to ensure removal of concrete from tree trunks in all colonies of Delhi by September 19.

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