Delhi HC orders Halt on Tree Felling in Central Ridge

The Delhi High Court has issued a stern directive against the felling of trees and removal of vegetation in the Central Ridge area of the national Capital, without explicit court permission.

The order, delivered by Justice Mini Pushkarna, also mandates that the Forest Department and local authorities prevent any dumping of garbage or waste material in this ecologically-sensitive zone.

The court’s decision comes amid reports of extensive tree cutting and land clearing, as well as significant garbage dumping within the region, which houses the historical Malcha Mahal from the Tughlaq era.

Photographic evidence presented in court showed not only unauthorised deforestation but also the burning of large areas, leading to the destruction of both trees and undergrowth.

This activity has left behind vast tracts of vacant land, significantly impacting the local ecosystem.

Expressing grave concern over these developments, Justice Pushkarna remarked on the critical role of the Central Ridge as a green heritage site for Delhi, particularly as the city faces severe pollution challenges.

The preservation of this green cover is essential for maintaining environmental balance, she noted.

The court has ordered the Forest Department to provide a detailed explanation of how such degradation was permitted in the Central Ridge.

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This directive was issued as part of a contempt plea hearing, where Amicus Curiae Advocates Gautam Narayan and Aditya N Prasad raised issues concerning adherence to previous court orders regarding tree planting in Delhi.

The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for May 24.

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