The high court on Tuesday instructed authorities in the national capital, including the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), to provide a timeline for the removal of concrete surrounding roadside trees.
Justice Jasmeet Singh directed the authorities to submit affidavits detailing the total number of trees encased in concrete and the number of trees where concrete has already been removed.
“All respondents must submit an affidavit stating the total count of trees currently encased in concrete, the number of trees that have been de-concretised, and those remaining to be de-concretised,” ordered the court.
“The affidavit should also explain the reasons behind the remaining trees yet to be de-concretised and provide a clear timeline for their completion,” added the court.
The court addressed a contempt petition filed by lawyer Aditya N Prasad, alleging that numerous trees in Vasant Vihar, South Delhi, were surrounded by concrete and sought measures for their preservation.
The counsel for CPWD informed the court that trees in all residential colonies in the city had been de-concretised.
“This isn’t limited to Vasant Vihar; it needs to happen across Delhi,” remarked the court to the respondents’ counsel.
The court specified that the affidavits from the respondents should include tree locations, and their de-concretisation should be verified.
In 2021, the high court highlighted that photos of the Vasant Vihar area showed hundreds of trees encased in concrete right up to their trunks, indicating clear harm.
The petitioner stated that authorities’ failure to preserve the trees was a violation of orders by both the high court and the National Green Tribunal. (With inputs from PTI)