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Above: NGT/Photo: Anil Shakya

Nearly a week after the Delhi High Court stayed the controversial housing project in south Delhi, the National Green Tribunal on Monday (July 2) directed that no tree felling would be carried out at least till July 19. The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) executed redevelopment project of seven south Delhi colonies, proposes to fell over 16, 000 trees.

While hearing a petition filed by Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Traditions and Promotion of National Awareness, the Acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi Municipal Council, CPWD and others. The agencies are required to file their responses by July 19, the next hearing in the matter. The green panel has also directed to inform the court about the exact number of trees proposed to be cut for the project.

On Thursday, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that no trees would be cut in the process, while assuring Delhiites that the national capital’s green cover would not be “damaged” but all necessary steps will be taken to enhance it.

The comment came in after a meeting on the proposed cutting of trees with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) vice chairman Udai Pratap Singh, NBCC CMD Anoop Kumar Mittal, CPWD DG Abhai Sinha and housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, among others.

NBCC is redeveloping Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, while the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is managing four other colonies in Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.

—India Legal Bureau

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