After protest, Tree-felling order at green park on hold
The forest department of Delhi had to put on hold an order, which it had earlier issued to cut down a full grown Semal tree at Green Park in south Delhi, after activists staged a protest at the site on Tuesday.
“The tree was, however, heavily chopped and the main trunk was partially damaged with axe before it could be saved. The roots have also been damaged too as the entire plot has been dug up several feet, for construction. The tree now stands on the edge of the plot with just inches of soil around it,” said Bhavreen Kandhari, activist and a member of Delhi Tree SOS.
The deputy conservator of forest (south division) had issued an order on Monday, after receiving an application to cut down a Semal tree in D Block of Green Park Main. On Tuesday when contractors went to cut down they faced a stiff protest from activists, after which the permission was kept in abeyance with immediate effect till further orders.
“The applicant is hereby directed not to fell the Semal tree based on the permission dated 18.3.2019 till further order,” said the order issued by deputy conservator of forest (south division) on Tuesday. Senior forest officials, however, refused to comment.
At around Jeevesh Gupta, a resident of adjoining Safdarjung Enclave, saw a message on social media group that some people were cutting down a Semal tree. He rushed to the spot and a few other activists also joined in. They raised slogans and even called the police.
“They assured us that it won’t be cut till permission document is verified and we left the place. Within two hours we came to know that it was being cut again. We rushed to the spot again and staged a protest. It was then that the forest department withheld the order,” said Gupta, one of the founder members of Chipko Delhi-NCR, a social media group formed to save trees.