New Delhi: Observing that trees are the lungs a city, the National Green Tribunal has directed authorities to complete deconcretisation work in four Delhi colonies within a week.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar appointed Sharan Thakur, an advocate, as local commissioner in the matter and directed him to inspect the colonies -- R K Puram, Safdarjung Development Area (SDA), Ashok Vihar and Hauz Khas-- on day to-day basis from September 3.
"Fact of the matter remains that trees need to be protected as they are vital part of our environment and ecology. Trees of a city particularly like Delhi, where emission is so high and violate all the parameters, are the lungs of the city. Need of the hour and statutory obligations of all the concerned authorities is to preserve and protect them," the bench said.
"All the authorities concerned in relation to the four colonies of Delhi which were subject matter of the pilot project before the tribunal, are directed to complete the remaining work of deconcretisation within one week from today...," it said.
The tribunal said that all the authorities including the SHOs of the police stations concerned shall assist and provide due protection and assistance to local commissioner for the work of deconcretisation so that the trees do not die and get proper air and water.
It also set up five different committees constituting of officials from different agencies including Delhi Development Authority, PWD and Central Public Works Department to carry out deconcretisation.
The NGT was hearing a plea by Aditya Prasad alleging that despite various orders of the tribunal, deconcretisation of the trees has not been carried out effectively.
According to Prasad, concretisation work in four colonies has not been completed till date, even after specific directions, and authorities must be held responsible for non-compliance of the orders.
The petitioner also submitted that the authorities had misrepresented that 80 per cent of the trees in Delhi under the jurisdiction of the various authorities have been deconcretised.