SC issues Contempt notice against CPWD, DDA officials for felling of Trees in Delhi’s Ridge Area

The Supreme Court on Thursday set in motion contempt proceedings against the officials of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for felling of trees in Delhi’s Ridge area in violation of its orders.

Issuing notice in the contempt petitions, a bench, headed by Justice Abhay S. Oka summoned the Director General of the CPWD and DDA Vice Chairperson, in person, on the next date of listing.

“We direct that the respondents shall not indulge in any further tree felling and status quo as of today shall be maintained in respect of the property subject matter of these contempt petitions,” the bench, also comprising Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, ordered.

The contempt petitions alleged that a large number of trees in the ridge had been felled there by the DDA to construct an approach road between the Chhattarpur Road and the SAARC University near Maidan Garhi.

In an earlier order, the top court had said that other areas having morphological ridges were required to be protected and no permission for construction should be given there. Further, it had directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest to set up a committee to work out modalities to identify areas of the Ridge which are not notified but also have the same ridge-like features.

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