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23 March 2005

There were a few kilometers long narrow strip of fairly dense jungle on the right bank of Najafgarh Nullah where it enters Vikas Puri and other colonies, in New Delhi. For the last few months some people have been cutting the trees of this green belt. The tree cutting is so fast and extensive that by now several thousand (We repeat, several thousand) trees have been cut down and about 80% of this green belt has completely been destroyed.

This place was also a habitat of many species of birds, insects and small mammals. All that is now gone.

We have been making desperate calls to the concerned officials of the Forest Department of the Delhi Government requesting them to save the trees, but they do not seem to be interested. The destruction goes on unabated.

The laws prohibiting tree-cutting are very strict. As per the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, no one can cut down a tree even if it is his own property, without an express permission of the Forest Department. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 lays down that trees canít be felled even for a public work without the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of India). Violation of the provisions of these Acts attracts strict punishment in the form of heavy fines and jail terms. It equally applies to both private individuals and Government Departments.

Despite all this, a whole green belt has been destroyed. It is very difficult to believe that the authorities entrusted with the duty to protect the trees are turning a blind eye to this illegal activity, just out of lethargy. The malady seems to be much deeper than that.

Some of the photographs may be seen at: http://www.weforanimals.com/death-of-jungle/death-of-jungle-1.htm

23 Mar 2005

This report was sent by H.S. Dhiman of weforanimals.com. Email: contact@weforanimals.com.

Citizen Direct is India Together's channel for publishing reports from citizens who have detailed information about specific civil society concerns and matters, by virtue of their participation, association, or independent observation. These reports are therefore as witnessed and understood by the authors themselves; India Together accepts no liability or responsibility for them.   More

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  • Posted by Kanchi Kohli on March 23, 2005 10:46 AM

    This can be pointed out to the Ridge Management Board, if it is a part of the Delhi Ridge. The NGO members are Ravi Agarwal (ravig1@toxicslink.org) and Ajay Mahajan (ajayma@vsnl.net).

    This can also be brought to the notice of the Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee...a hearing is coming up on the 30th and maybe the organisation can speak with the members before hand and prepare a petition for immediately stay etc.


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