Coercive measures against Delhi Jal Board if directions to plant 500 Trees not complied: NGT to Forest Dept

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The National Green Tribunal has directed Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to take coercive measures against the Delhi Jal Board if it fails to comply with directions of planting 500 trees of native species in Delhi within a month.

A National Green Tribunal bench headed by its chairperson AK Goel issued the order after taking note that plantation of 500 trees of native species was not carried out till date.

“In view of the above, let further action be taken by the DJB within one month which may be overseen by the PCCF, Delhi. If action is not taken, PCCF, Delhi may take coercive measures, following due process of law,” the bench said & disposed of a petition filed by Satish Sharma.

According to the plea, a man with connivance with the officers of the Delhi Jal Board had felled around 40 to 50 trees in Delhi for making furniture.

Subsequently, Deputy Conservator of Forests (South) was directed to inspect the site.

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Staff of the Tree Offence Cell, South Division inspected the site & reported illegal felling of three trees & illegal pruning of ten trees in the property owned by the Delhi Jal Board. The matter was processed as per the provisions of Delhi Preservation Of Tree Act 1994.

The forest department, in a speaking order dated May 5, issued compounding the offence conditional to the payment of Rs 3,80,000 including Rs 60,000 for each tree illegally felled & Rs 20,000 for each tree illegally pruned, & plantation of 500 trees of native tree species such as Neem, Bargat, Peepal, etc of 5-6 feet height by Delhi Jal Board by the end of June 2020.

DCF (South) reported that in compliance to the conditions of compounding the case the amount of Rs 3,80,000 was deposited by the Delhi Jal Board but there was no compliance of the order for the plantation of 500 trees in the area.

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“…carrying out plantation of 500 trees of native species by the Delhi Jal Board by the end of June, 2020, is one of the conditions of the compounding offence which has not been carried out by the Delhi Jal Board till 11.08.2020,” a report, filed by forest department before the Green Tribunal, said. 

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