High Court: Delhi losing forest
cover like anything, we should leave
something for future generations

The Delhi High Court in the case Courts On Its Own Motion 9Air Pollution Of Delhi) v. Union Of India & Ors observed wherein the court was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation initiated in 2015 on the issue of air pollution in Delhi. It has been stated by the High Court that the national capital is losing its forest cover drastically.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed and has told the ASG Aishwarya Bhati to personally look into the matter, wherein underscoring that “injustice is being done to the nature.

The said proceedings are joined by As Bhati after it has been requested by the ebnch her assistance, Chief Justice Sharma asked her about the status of a pending matter before Supreme Court dealing with identical issues. The bench headed by Justice Bhati stated that the said case highlighted the forest cover in Delhi is reducing drastically and buildings are being constructed around central ridge area and that encroachments around Asola sanctuary are not removed. Therefore, weather the matter pending in Supreme Court has taken care of the forest cover of Delhi too?

It has also been informed by the BHati that the case has “not been heard for some time now. She stated that, We are waiting for a hearing However, the amicus curiae Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev took the court through the photographs of Delhi, wherein it is highlighted the loss of forest cover especially in the areas around Asola sanctuary, airport and the President’s house. It has also been stated by him that the said areas are being surrounded by slums, adding that Yamuna river bank “today is one huge unplanned slum.”

It has also been stated by Vasdev that behind the President house, even there is a slum. There being a slight green cover because of Ministry of Defence and Satellite cover. Therefore, the amicus also brought to the attention of the court the issue of unauthorised colonies in various areas which includes the Central Ridge. Thus, Vasdev also took the court through affidavits filed by the Delhi Government authorities in a contempt case pending before a single judge wherein the issue was concerned of tree felling and preservation of trees in the national capital. The bench was appraised by him while referring to the affidavits that the Delhi government has issued 52 separate Gazette notifications from the year 2019 to 2021 allowing felling of thousands of trees. Accordingly, the court listed the matte to be next heard on March 13 and has asked the authorities to file a response explaining the defiance of its earlier orders.

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