Economic Times: New Delhi: Wednesday, February 01, 2017.
Delhi High Court today sought response of Delhi government on why it has not complied with a 2011 Central Information Commission (CIC) order to display information of the environmental cost, including the number of trees felled, of each development project in the city.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to Delhi government departments of forest, wildlife, environment and urban development and sought their replies on a plea seeking implementation of the August 5, 2011 order of the CIC.
The matter was listed for further hearing on March 3.
The petition was filed by a lawyer who has claimed that when he had in 2013 sought, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the reason for non-implementation, he was informed by the forest department that the CIC order was not complied with as it "was not traceable on account of a fire accident" in April 2012.
The department, however, had said that all concerned divisions have been asked to comply with the order of the Commission, advocate Aditya Prasad had said in his petition.
Thereafter, in 2015 when he again sought details of implementation under RTI, he was told that the divisional office has not received the CIC order.
Prasad has contended that even as the current environmental situation in the city was deteriorating day by day, the authorities were displaying a "lackadaisical attitude" by "wilfully disobeying" the order of the CIC.
CIC, in its order, had directed the departments to publish on their websites from September 1, 2011 onwards, the environmental cost, including number of trees felled, of the projects along with details of compensatory plantations.
Information to be displayed also included "details of permissions given for felling and pruning trees along with applicant details, number of trees, reasons for approval and location, among others".
As per the petition, the departments also had to display "details of complaints received on the tree helpline, together with details of number of trees cut, location, status of complaint and status of prosecution undertaken", if any.