The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to display on site the environmental cost, number of trees being felled and the location of compensatory plantation while executing any construction project.
Justice Subramonium Prasad said an officer not less than the rank of Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Urban Development should be made responsible for ensuring compliance with the court’s direction.
The court’s order came on a petition seeking implementation of a 2011 order passed by the Central Information Commission (CIC).
The CIC had directed all civic agencies carrying out construction work to display along with the monetary costs and details of the project, the environmental cost, indicating the number of trees being felled and the location of compensatory plantation.
The Delhi government’s lawyer told the court it was following the existing directions with respect to compensatory afforestation and felling of trees at construction sites, and the Tree Officers of the divisions concerned will be responsible for timely updation of data in terms of the CIC order.
“As far as construction being carried out by the Union of India is concerned, the details of such project, i.e. the environmental cost, the number of trees being felled and the location of compensatory plantation, should be indicated at the site of the construction. An officer not less than the rank of Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Urban Development should be made responsible to ensure that this order is complied with,” said the court in an order passed last month.
The court said the information must also include the name of the civic agency carrying out the construction.