• Tue. May 28th, 2024

400 Trees Axed In Ridge, Top Court Starts Contempt Case Against DDA Official

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May 16, 2024

Days after the Supreme Court asked Delhi and 3 other states not to give any new mining permissions in the Aravallis without its permission, the court has come down hard on the Delhi Development Authority for tree cutting in the Ridge, which is an extension of the range, and initiated contempt proceedings against its vice chairman.

On Wednesday, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) admitted to the court that 458 trees had been axed on forest land in the southern part of the ridge in South Delhi to widen a road. Hearing the issue on Thursday, the bench of Justices AS Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan termed the DDA’s actions not just “willful violation of the orders of this court and disobedience to the law” but also “interference in the administration of justice” since the court had already turned down its application for cutting the trees.

The 11-km road connects Chhatarpur with South Asian University, both of which are in South Delhi. Pulling up DDA Vice Chairman Subhasish Panda, the bench said the DDA knew that the trees could not be cut without the permission of the court and hid the fact that the felling had started in February this year.

“Our view is that in place of one tree cut by DDA, 100 new trees will have to be planted,” the judges said and ordered the DDA vice chairman to disclose the names of all responsible officers so that action can be taken against them. 
 

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