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Delhi environment minister writes to Harsh Vardhan over felling of trees for NBCC projects, alleges 'serious violations'

Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday wrote a letter to Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan over the issue of felling of trees for the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) projects in seven colonies in New Delhi.

In the letter, Hussain said that "violations of conditions prescribed in the clearance given by Forest Department" had taken place.

"Initial/preliminary probe have revealed that user agency/project proponent has apparently committed serious violations of directions," said the Delhi minister.

He said that the condition of planting trees before cutting the ones which were already there was ignored. "The project proponent/user agency apparently started the process of felling/cutting of trees without complying with the directions regarding condition precedent of planting trees before undertaking cutting of trees," he said.

 Delhi environment minister writes to Harsh Vardhan over felling of trees for NBCC projects, alleges serious violations

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Hussain sent a similar letter to Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri too.

On Monday, Hussain had written to Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal over the same issue, demanding that the felling of trees be immediately halted.

His demand came amid protests over the government's plan to cut nearly 14,000 trees in seven colonies in South Delhi — Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.

Hussain had said the ongoing projects are "liable to be stopped due to violations".

"I have written to the Hon'ble LG of Delhi demanding immediate halt to felling of trees for NBCC construction projects till the matter is fully investigated given the seriousness of the entire matter," he had said in a tweet.

On Sunday, a major protest was held against the decision with locals and activists launching their own 'Chipko Movement' — a forest conservation movement where people in the 1970s embraced trees to prevent them from being cut down in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh).

In his letter to the L-G, Hussain had said, "In view of the seriousness of the matter and the fact that the felling of trees may cause permanent loss, it is proposed that an immediate stoppage to felling of trees be ordered in the seven colonies."

However, the L-G office has said the proposals for redeveloping Nauroji Nagar and Netaji Nagar were duly endorsed by Hussain.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 26, 2018 21:41:50 IST