Wednesday, February 01, 2017

HC notice to govt on details of trees felled for projects

The Hindu‎‎‎: New Delhi: Wednesday, February 01, 2017.
The High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi government as to why it has not complied with an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) asking it to furnish details about the number of trees felled for each development project in the city.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued a notice to the Delhi government while listing the matter for March 3.
The court issued the notices on a plea seeking implementation of the August 5, 2011 order of the CIC.
RTI application
The petitioner claimed that in 2013 he had sought to know the status of the implementation of the CIC order by filing an application under the RTI Act and was told that the order could not be implemented as the same was not traceable following an incident of fire in April 2012.
The department, however, had said that all concerned divisions have been asked to comply with the order of the CIC. Thereafter, in 2015 when the petitioner again sought to know the status, he was told that the divisional office has not received the CIC order.
The petitioner claimed that while the environment in the city is being destroyed, the authorities were maintaining a “lackadaisical attitude” by “wilfully disobeying” the order of the CIC.
In detail
The CIC, in its order, had directed each department to publish the environmental cost, including number of trees felled, of their projects along with details of compensatory plantations on their respective websites.
Details of permissions given for felling and pruning trees along with applicant details, number of trees, reasons for approval and location, among others were also to be displayed.
As per the petition, the departments also had to display the “number of complaints received on the tree helpline, number of trees cut, location of the tress, status of complaint and status of prosecution undertaken, if any”.