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Thursday, July 25, 2024

High Court Prohibits Tree Felling for House Construction Permits

The Delhi High Court has issued a stern directive, making it crystal clear that it will not grant permission to fell trees for the purpose of house construction. This decision reiterates what the court had previously emphasized on August 31 when it recorded the commitment of the Delhi government. The government assured the court that it would not grant tree-felling permits for individual cases, and any permissions needed for significant projects would be reported to the court. This arrangement will remain in place.

Furthermore, the Delhi government has been given a grace period of two weeks to provide a comprehensive report detailing the status of transplanted and replanted trees in the city. Justice Jasmeet Singh has also expressed interest in the success rate of the transplantation or replantation process.

In the interim, the court has maintained the directives outlined in the August 31 order. This means that no permissions will be granted for the cutting down of trees in the context of house construction. The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for October 6.

The court’s attention was drawn to a petition seeking contempt action against officials who have failed to comply with the court’s explicit instructions from an order issued in April 2022. The April order required these officials to provide clear reasons for approving the felling of even a single tree.

The petitioner, Bhavreen Khandari, represented by advocate Aditya N Prasad, has filed an application requesting an expedited hearing for the contempt plea. They argue that, despite the April 2022 order, authorities have been irresponsibly granting permissions for tree felling, which runs contrary to the court’s directives and environmental conservation efforts.

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