2,841 illegally cut logs found at Delhi Golf Club, says forest dept
A report submitted by the state forest department to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday says as many as 2,841 logs of illegally cut trees were found on the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) premises and the count is likely to go up.
The report signed by the conservator of forests also suggests the club tried to cover up the tree felling by digging pits to hide the logs and then covering them with soil and dried leaves. The golf club denied the allegations.
“The logs were being dumped and covered with soil and dried leaves inside pits at four different locations and were required to be dug out by employing manual labourers and earthmovers... Till date, the number of logs being dug out from different pits inside the Golf Club is 2,841, which are of different sizes. The process of digging out the logs is still in progress,” the report stated.
The matter was reported by the Delhi government’s expert advisor Gajendra Haldea, who during a usual visit to DGC got suspicious about trees being cut and put in pits. He submitted a written complaint to the forest department on July 10 this year.
After inspection, the department registered a complaint with the police on July 16, which later filed an FIR in the case. The report said a tree offence had been committed inside the DGC in contravention of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994. Environment minister Imran Hussain had asked for the report after the complaint was received.
The DGC denied all allegations, terming the complaint “baseless” and an attempt to bring disrepute to the club.
“We are not aware of any fresh report that the forest department has filed in the case. The club has extended all support during the investigation by the forest officials and shall continue to do so. We reiterate that the club has not taken any illegal action as alleged. As responsible citizens, this year alone, the club had carried out an extensive plantation drive; 5,000 bushes have been planted and over 2,000 trees are being planted within the premises,” the DGC said in a statement.
The incident comes in the backdrop of citizens’ protests over the decision to cut at least 14,000 trees in seven south Delhi neighbourhoods to make way for a housing project for central government employees. The matter is now pending in court.