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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Rajasthan officer fined for concretising trees

Later in May 2019, the tribunal, taking cognisance of the matter, directed the forest department to look into the matter and take action within a month.

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2019 05:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A view of Bikaner House in Delhi.
A view of Bikaner House in Delhi.(Amal KS/HTPhoto)
         

Delhi forest department has imposed a fine of Rs 18.7 lakh on the resident commissioner of Rajasthan in Delhi for concretising the base of 187 trees at Bikaner House, violating an order of the National Green Tribunal. In November 2018, environment activist and advocate Aditya Prasad had sent a letter to the resident commissioner, highlighting the violation at Bikaner House.

Later in May 2019, the tribunal, taking cognisance of the matter, directed the forest department to look into the matter and take action within a month.

A team led by Delhi’s principal chief conservator visited Bikaner House earlier this month, and upon finding that tree bases were indeed concretised, had given two weeks to remove the concrete. The penalty was imposed because the concrete was not removed.

“A fine of Rs 10,000 per tree concretised, amounting to Rs 18.7 lakh for 187 trees, is imposed on you. The fine must be paid immediately,” said the forest department’s letter sent to the resident commissioner on Tuesday.

Senior forest officials said they acted in accordance with the NGT order, but did not divulge anything further. Hindustan Times has a copy of the letter.

“We have already started to deconcretise the trees. Compliance would be made soon,” said a senior officer of Bikaner House.

The tribunal had in 2013 directed government agencies in Delhi to remove concrete around the base of trees as well as hoardings, wires and signboards.

In 2015, the Delhi forest department had issued a public notice to deconcretise trees and leave a space of 1metre X 1 metre around the base. The notice said that a fine of Rs 10,000 would be imposed for violation.

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 05:20 IST

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