PIL in Delhi HC seeks protection of Jahanpanah forest
The public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed based on a Hindustan Times report highlighting the sorry state of affairs in the Jahanpanah forest.Updated: May 31, 2019 03:49 IST
The Delhi High Court may hear on May 31 a plea seeking directions to the Centre, Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi government to take steps to protect the Jahanpanah city forest and ensure that the nature and character of the city forest is not destroyed.
The public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed based on a Hindustan Times report highlighting the sorry state of affairs in the Jahanpanah forest. It is likely to be listed today before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi.
On March 28, Hindustan Times had reported how illegal activities such as felling of trees, dumping of garbage, encroachment and open defecation by locals were threatening the Jahanpanah City Forest in south Delhi – one of the last dense green patches in the capital, sprawling over 435 acres.
During a spot check at the time, Hindustan Times had found that local residents in the area were dumping domestic waste from across the boundary wall. Construction and demolition waste was scattered in many places.
In some places, the base of trees was concretised, violating orders of the National Green Tribunal. There were hardly any guards at the gates and people were seen consuming drugs inside the forest area. The toilets were found abandoned, giving rise to open defecation.
The forest department had also prepared a report highlighting the damage being done to the forest.
The plea, filed through advocate Amit Gupta, stated that urgent steps are required to be undertaken by the authorities by demarcation of the entire area to stop encroachment; by ensuring that efficacious afforestation is taken to compensate for the loss of 60–70 acres of land where plantation has been destroyed.
It also sought that proper water supply should be provided by way of tube well and rain water harvesting systems and an effective mechanism to check illegal tree cutting and fire during the summers.
The plea also sought directions for providing security inside and around the forest for the safety of the visitors, removal of illegal encroachments and garbage and repair of footpath, boundary walls and benches.
First Published: May 31, 2019 03:49 IST