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Govt wants to utilise chaupal-like area under 150-yr-old tree in Chirag Delhi for basic public amenities

New Delhi (ILNS): The Delhi government has informed the Delhi High Court that it is seeking to utilize this erstwhile chaupal like area under a 150-year-old tree in Chirag Delhi village, which is a part of an open public space, to provide basic amenities like health facilities for the benefit of the residents in the neighborhood.

The government, on October 23, told Justice Najmi Waziri that it would be installing tents and/or semi-permanent structures and an endeavour would be made so that the installations are visually appealing and do not constrict the growth of the tree and/or movement of people in the area.

The submissions came while hearing a plea which had sought directions to the authorities restraining them from cutting and removing the 150 year-old tree growing at the center of Chirag Delhi village and directing removal of concrete structures including pillars and brick walls around it.

The petition filed by one Kuldeep Kumar had said that he had an apprehension that the old concrete platform around the tree and fresh constructions thereupon, are likely to damage the tree irreparably and inexorably choke it.

During the hearing, senior advocate Arun Bhardwaj and advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi, appearing for the Delhi government and the forest department, told the court that Government of Delhi is striving to enhance the city’s green cover, therefore it is vigilant of preserving and nursing existing trees; all-the-more of trees which would qualify for ‘heritage status’, like the present one.

They told the court that the government shall ensure that no harm is caused to this tree, let alone it being felled while also submitting that the officials of the forest department are possibly at the site during this very moment, in order to de-concretize the platform which surrounds the tree.

The senior advocate for the government also told the court that the area under the tree is a part of an open public space, in the now urbanized village and the Delhi government is now seeking to utilize this erstwhile chaupal like area, for reaching basic amenities and health facilities, for the benefit of the residents in the neighbourhood.

“…that for the said purpose the Government would consider installing tents and/or semi permanent structures; that an endeavour would be made so that the installations are visually appealing and do not constrict the growth of the tree and/or movement of people in the area. He further submitted that special measures shall be taken by the forest department to ensure that the tree is restored to health. assistance of the residents in the neighborhood for taking care of the tree, would be welcome through the forest department,” senior advocate Bhardwaj told the court.

The court while acknowledging the vigilance of the petitioner, said: “What a relief it shall be for the ‘victimized’ tree, when the concrete platform hemming-it-in for decades, is removed. The petitioner’s vigilance in highlighting the plight of the tree is acknowledged.”

The judge also disposed the plea after the assurance from the Delhi government.

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