NGT issues notice to defence ministry over tree felling by Army HQ in Central Ridge

The National Green Tribunal has issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Defence and two others regarding the alleged felling of trees by the Army Headquarters in Delhi’s Central Ridge area.

The green panel was hearing a matter in which it had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of a newspaper report about the Army Headquarters felling trees while clearing an 8.78-hectare area.

A bench of Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Expert Member A Senthil Vel noted the report, according to which the Army violated environmental norms, including the Delhi Preservation of Tree Act, Forest Conservation Act and the Indian Forest Act.

In an order passed on Monday, the bench said, “The news item discloses a substantial issue relating to compliance with the environmental norms.”

It made as parties or respondents the Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the defence ministry — represented by its secretary.

After the green panel issued the notices, it noted that the ministry’s counsel accepted it and sought four weeks to file a reply.

Allowing the prayer, the bench sought a reply from the remaining two parties.

The matter has been posted to March 6 for further proceedings.

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