The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to take permission of the Chief Forest Conservator to cut trees for the construction of the Phase IV metro expansion project.
A Bench headed by Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna also issued a further direction to the Delhi government to evolve a plan of action to plant tree saplings in the city. The plan has to be submitted before the Court within 12 weeks.
It Court directed that the Chief Conservator of Forests forward the application of DMRC with their recommendations within one month to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
The government of India should consider the application in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations and also in accordance with the definition of forest given by the Court.
The court's order came on a plea of DMRC which had argued that forest clearance was not required as the Central Empowered Committee's report stated that the trees proposed to be felled do not constitute forests.
DMRC had identified over 10,000 trees for felling for the expansion work of the Janakpuri-RK Ashram, Maujpur-Majlis Park and Aerocity-Tughlaqabad corridors and had not got the requisite permission for citing them.
The Delhi metro had alleged that its ongoing construction work had been halted due to a lack of requisite permission for felling trees. (ANI)