The Supreme Court on Friday restrained Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from felling more trees around south Delhi’s Siri Fort area where the civic body is constructing basketball and squash courts for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
A special forest bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said in its order: “DDA should desist from felling trees.” It asked additional solicitor general Amarendra Sharan, appearing for DDA, to inform the authority about the order.
“I will pass the oral order to the concerned authorities,” Sharan said, seeking a week’s time to respond to the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee’s (CEC) report that rapped the agency for its “mindless felling” of trees around the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
The order came after advocate M.L. Lahoty, appearing for the Siri Fort residents’ welfare association, informed the bench that the felling continued till Friday morning. The DDA, he claimed, refused to relent even as the court had on January 23 decided to hear the matter on Friday.
The CEC permitted construction of the courts for the Games even as it found serious deviations in the project and held the felling of around 1,000 trees would adversely affect the environment. “Ideally the CEC would prefer... the construction... is demolished and the area... rehabilitated by planting... trees,” the CEC said, adding it was giving its consent due to time constraints for the Games.