DMRC has to get nod to cut trees for Phase 4


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Supreme Court on Monday held that Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had to obtain forest clearance under Forest Conservation Act to cut trees for Phase 4 expansion plan. The court directed the DMRC to file an application before Chief Conservator of Forests under the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) under the Forest Conservation Act seeking permission for felling trees.

Further, the bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao directed the Chief Conservator of Forests to forward the application with their recommendations within one month to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

The bench said that the Indian govt should consider the application in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations and also in accordance with the definition of forest given by the court. The court also issued further direction to DMRC and GNCTD to evolve a plan of action to plant tree saplings in the city. The plan has to be submitted before court within 12 weeks.

The order came on a plea by DMRC which had argued that forest clearance was not required as the Central Empowered Committee’s report stated that the trees proposed to be felled did not constitute forests. The DMRC had identified over 10,000 trees for felling for the expansion work of Janakpuri-RK Ashram, Maujpur-Majlis Park and Aerocity-Tughlaqabad corridors. It had not got the permission for chopping trees. It had alleged that its construction work had halted due to lack of permission.

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