Thursday, May 26, 2022 | Last Update : 02:13 PM IST

  Metros   Delhi  28 Jun 2018  Harsh Vardhan misguided people on tree felling, says Saurabh Bhardwaj

Harsh Vardhan misguided people on tree felling, says Saurabh Bhardwaj

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 28, 2018, 4:26 am IST
Updated : Jun 28, 2018, 4:26 am IST

AAP claims ministry gave environment clearance; NBCC notice to contractors to stop cutting.

Harsh Vardhan (Photo: PTI)
 Harsh Vardhan (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The AAP on Wednesday accused Union environment minister Harsh Var-dhan of “misguiding” people over the plan to cut down over 16,500 trees in the city for redevelopment of seven colonies, claiming that his ministry had given environment clearance to the project.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that the environmental impact assessment report for the project was approved by the ministry of environment forest and climate change and no public hearing was held on it.

 

“Harsh Vardhan has misguided the people of Delhi as he said that the Central government has nothing to do with cutting of trees. It was his ministry that approved the environmental impact assessment and notified environment clearance to the project,” he said.

Asserting that the documents accessed through ministry’s website showed that the environmental impact assessment for the project was merely theoretical, the AAP leader said, “It is theory only and no assessment. It pays no attention to ground water level and pollution level in areas covered under the project.”

The people of the affected colonies were caught unaware about large number of felling of trees as there was no public hearing before the project, he claimed, adding, “According to papers the public hearing was held on January 1, 1900 which is impossible. It seems ghosts attended it 118 years ago.”

 

Mr Bhardwaj further alleged that the project was aimed at developing “commercial properties” instead of providing residential accommodation.

“The brochure of the project details how it will be a commercial property. It states that there will be a World Trade Centre, conference facilities and prime marketing spaces under it,” he said.

The redevelopment project, involving seven colonies in south Delhi, is embroiled in blame game involving the AAP and BJP, while locals, activists and environmentalists hugging trees, launching their own “Chipko Move-ment”, a forest conservation movement where people embraced trees to prevent them from being cut in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh) in the 1970s.

 

Meanwhile, a day after it was accused of cutting a tree at Netaji Nagar, despite high court order, government-owned real estate development body NBCC on Wednesday said that it has directed all its contractors not to cut trees in any of its redevelopment projects in South Delhi.

“We have instructed all contractors carrying out redevelopment of three colonies in Delhi by NBCC not to cut any trees. In the event of any breach by any individual or contractor, they will be held responsible for all consequential damages arising there from including contempt of court,” a company spokesperson said.

“In case any NBCC officials finds any incidence of tree cutting, the corporation will report it to the authorities concerned, including the police,” the spokesperson added.

 

The NBCC had on June 25 agreed in the high court not to cut trees till July 4.

 It made the statement after a vacation bench of the court, comprising Justices Vinod Goel and Rekha Palli, said that it would impose an interim stay on tree felling.

The Delhi High Court on June 25 questioned the move of felling over 16,500 trees for the project. Taking note of the views expressed by the court which appeared inclined to order an interim stay of the tree chopping process, the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), tasked with redeveloping half a dozen south Delhi colonies, agreed not to cut any tree till July 4 when the case will come up again for hearing by the court.

 

Tags: saurabh bhardwaj, harsh var-dhan, delhi high court