Submit report on total forest area left in last 20 years: HC asks Delhi

Submit report on total forest area left in last 20 years: HC asks Delhi

New Delhi, May 6 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi government to submit a report indicating total forest area left in the national capital in last twenty years.

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the Delhi government to submit a report on total forest and ridge area in comparison to data furnished in the Supreme Court in this regard in 1996 and now.

The court’s order came after amicus curiae Kailash Vasudev, who was assisting the court in a suo moto case on air pollution in city, told it that in 1996, data was furnished by the Delhi government in the Supreme Court on total forest cover in that year.

Ask the government to furnish recent data on forest land left in the capital now, Vasudev told the bench.

The court asked the government to file the report within six weeks along with a copy of reports given to the Supreme Court by the government in 1996.

During the hearing, the court expressed displeasure on disappearing of forest areas “very fast” due to rampant encroachment.

“Increase the tree cover area. Show something what have you (Delhi government) done since last year. It has to be tangible. Show us map/photographs. We want action now,” the bench said.

The bench also directed the city traffic police to come up with a plan and a timeline to utilise the unused funds given to it to improve the traffic management system in the capital.

The court’s order came after Delhi Traffic Police said it has utilised only Rs.100.67 crore of the Rs.275.08 crore given to it under the 12th plan in 2012 for modernisation of traffic and communication network.

It also asked the traffic police to respond on how it was going to utilise the remaining Rs.175 crore and a timeline for implementation of an intelligent traffic management system (ITMS), use of helicopters for traffic management and in emergencies and acquisition of modern equipment.

The government also told the court that on request of Delhi police, approval was given for incurring expenditure on hiring helicopter service for monitoring traffic situation in Delhi during some of the major traffic arrangements for festivities.

The court posted the matter for May 19.

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