Trees are lungs, 315 fell when AQI & Covid at its worst: Plea in HC

A Division Bench of the high court presided ober by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice over the petition filed by Abhishek Dutt through advocate Varun Chopra and slated the matter for further hearing on December 11.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response from the AAP government and others over a petition against an order for felling of of 315 trees for redevelopment of Ayur Vigyan Nagar in the national capital.

A Division Bench of the high court presided ober by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice over the petition filed by Abhishek Dutt through advocate Varun Chopra and slated the matter for further hearing on December 11.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Varun Chopra argued before the bench that about 315 trees were being cut or transplanted in order to develop Ayur Vigyan Nagar, which is near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and is the home to a large number of Corona warriors, besides patients.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic is underway and the air quality is already very poor, the taking away of these 315 trees is almost like taking away 315 lungs and ultimately deteriorating the air quality which is already severe,” said Chopra.

He also said that there are various studies which suggests that transplantation of trees is not a very successful process and hence, the said order passed by the Delhi government shall be stayed immediately.

The plea sought quashing of the Order dated 14.09.2020 issued by Dy. Commissioner of Forests (South) for felling/transplantation of 315 trees for redevelopment of Ayur Vigyan Nagar.

The said order has allowed large-scale destruction of the vegetation and tree cover of New Delhi for the purposes of Government redevelopment, wholly ignoring the air pollution and serious environmental concerns that affect the health of the citizens of the capital, the plea said.

“News reports on Transplanting of Trees show that the process is not a very effective or a successful one, especially in India. In fact, the rate of failure is too high. In the context of New Delhi and the surrounding areas, that failure can be irreparably damaging to the environment and to the inhabitants of the NCT of Delhi and around,” the plea said.

“No amount of landscaping and tree planting can properly compensate for the loss of precious green cover. Even planting saplings for each tree which is felled is not enough considering the large size, ecological impact of larger trees and poor survival rate of saplings,” the plea added.

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