Environment Minister Gopal Rai announced that the Delhi government will be formulating a new set of rules for tree pruning. This decision comes in the wake of the Delhi High Court’s invalidation of the city government’s existing guidelines for tree pruning, which allowed regular pruning of tree branches with a girth of up to 15.7 cm without seeking permission from the tree officer.
The court ruling mandated that tree pruning should only be carried out in accordance with the Delhi Protection of Trees (DPT) Act, which necessitates obtaining mandatory permission from the tree officer.
Minister Rai acknowledged that the current overgrown trees in the city have been causing difficulties for both the general public and government agencies, potentially leading to unfortunate incidents during adverse weather conditions.
To address this issue, the government plans to hold consultations with various stakeholders, including experts, resident welfare associations, and environmentalists, in August. Gathering opinions from these parties will help in revising the tree pruning guidelines.
In addition to addressing tree pruning concerns, Minister Rai emphasised the government’s commitment to tackle the problem of concretization around trees. Concretization, which weakens tree roots and makes them susceptible to uprooting, has been a long-standing concern. Despite the National Green Tribunal’s ban on concretization within a one-meter radius of tree trunks in 2013, proper implementation in the city is still pending.
Furthermore, the Environment Minister announced the upcoming launch of an ‘urban farming’ initiative in September. This initiative aims to encourage the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, and other plants on terraces. By doing so, the government seeks to counter the issue of diminishing green spaces caused by rapid urbanization and increasing population density in Delhi. (With inputs from PTI)