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7 months on, land yet to be allotted for compensatory plantation for Delhi’s Nauroji Nagar redevelopment project

The Delhi Development Authority claims that the land allotment letter for planting compensatory saplings in Garhi Mandu village had been issued a year ago.

delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2018 12:30 IST
Ashish Mishra
Ashish Mishra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi tree,DDA,Garhi Mandu village
Trees felled for the redevelopment project at Netaji Nagar residential colony, in New Delhi. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Over seven months after the Delhi government cleared the proposal to chop 1,465 trees for the redevelopment project in south Delhi’s Nauroji Nagar, the forest department is yet to get land to plant compensatory saplings in Garhi Mandu village in north Delhi.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), however, claimed the land allotment letter had already been issued a year ago.

“We do not want to indulge in a blame game. Allotment letter was given to the forest department in 2017 and we have already authorised them to start compensatory plantation at the site,” DDA vice-chairman Udai Pratap Singh said.

Documents accessed by HT on Monday reveal that permission for felling trees was granted on November 15, 2017, and the forest department has to plant 14,650 saplings across 14.65 hectares allotted by the DDA in Garhi Mandu village — between the under-construction Signature Bridge and the Wazirabad Barrage.

“Plantation could not be undertaken as the land has not been handed over to the department,” a status report filed by the forest department on the redevelopment projects in south Delhi said.

Environment minister Imran Hussain had last week instructed the department officials to file a status report on compensatory plantation for the redevelopment projects.

The report stated that 2,294 trees were to be felled and 175 trees were to be transplanted to make way for the Netaji Nagar redevelopment project. About 24,900 saplings were to be planted over an area of 25.3 hectares as compensation.

Of the 24,900 saplings, 8,350 were to be planted by the forest department on 8.35 hectares, 5,000 saplings on five hectares between Yamuna Bank Metro station and the railway line adjacent the CWG village, and 8,100 saplings in the floodplains between ITO Barrage and Yamuna Bank Metro station.

The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) has to plant 3,450 saplings over an area of 3.85 hectares that are located in 11 pockets within the construction site in Netaji Nagar.

“Plantation (for Netaji Nagar) could not be undertaken as 21.45 hectares for the same has not been handed over to the department,” the status report said . The report says that proposals for Kasturba Nagar and Sriniwaspuri projects were yet to be received by the department

Principal chief conservator forest Jayshree A Chauhan also wrote to DDA vice-chairman for handover of land.

“… It is informed that no land has been transferred/ handed over to the forest department for compensatory plantation... It is earnestly requested to transfer the land for compensatory plantation to the forest department at the earliest to avoid any legal complications and to ensure completion of compensatory plantation by forest department,” a letter dated June 26, 2018, said.

A government official said, “How can the user agency cut trees before compensatory plantation takes place? This is a violation.” The National Green Tribunal in its September 2017 order has said that “saplings shall be planted as a condition precedent to the cutting of trees”.

Despite several calls and text messages, the NBCC chairperson AK Mittal could not be reached for comment.

First Published: Jul 03, 2018 11:51 IST