The forest department first issued a public notice in 2015 for these trees planted in Vasant Vihar. A recent survey in January 2022 found concrete in an area of one meter near 387 trees in the area of PWD, after which a fine of Rs.38,70,000 per tree was imposed. Complainant Bhavreen Kandhari had lodged the complaint of crushing the roots of trees in concrete in Vasant Kunj, after which notices were issued to South MCD and PWD. South MCD removed concrete from an area of one meter around the roots of all 3909 trees in its area, but PWD failed to do so.
According to the Forest Department, on November 30 and 8 last year, PWD officials said they would complete the work in 15 days after the government lifted the ban on construction and demolition. On 20 December 2021, the ban on construction work and demolition was lifted, although the department did not complete the removal of concrete near the roots of the trees. The High Court had on December 23 directed to file a reply by January 5, 2022. However, the report was not released by PWD.
At the same time, on February 1, no affidavit was issued by the PWD. Even after this the department was given a chance, but the report was not received. In view of this attitude of PWD and due to negligence towards trees, a fine of Rs. 38,70,000 has been imposed on 387 trees.
During the construction work on the development road, 80 trees were uprooted
On the other hand, during the Forest Department’s investigation, it was found that about 80 trees had been felled by PWD during the ongoing construction work on the development road. This work is going on near Laxmi Nagar in East Delhi. According to the forest department, three trees were cut down without permission due to the work, while the roots of about 80 trees were damaged. The Forest Department will now hear the matter on Friday. The executive engineer of the said project of PWD has been called for hearing. According to the Forest Department, the hearing will ask the officer why the rules were violated despite a notice to stop work in October 2021. According to a Forest Department official, the work is being investigated to see if more trees have been damaged. If PWD cannot give a satisfactory answer to this question then further action will be taken as per rule.