40 trees were chopped off for widening of a road at Rao Tula Ram Marg in Delhi. (Representational image)
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has pulled up Public Works Department (PWD) for chopping 40 trees for widening of a road at Rao Tula Ram Marg in Delhi and summoned its senior officials warning them that they may have to pay for transplantation of remaining trees.
"There were 51 trees and you chopped of 40 trees without even considering that those can be transplanted in nearby green areas. Did you conduct any study or the impact of chopping of trees? All the officials including deputy conservator of forests should be present on next date of hearing," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.
The bench while posting the matter for further hearing on Monday warned that if the officials are not able to give satisfactory replies then they may be asked to pay for transplantation of remaining 11 trees.
"Those were big trees which you chopped for widening of road and now you have exposed the roots of remaining 11 trees which will eventually lead to their death. If you would have transplanted the trees, their would have been 90 per cent chance of their survival," the panel told the PWD officials.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Aditya N Prasad alleging that concretisation of trees in various parts of Delhi is resulting in weakening of roots and eventually death of trees.
The panel had earlier said that concretisation of the trees is an undue wastage of public money besides resulting in environmental hazards.
"It takes years for a tree to grow and takes one day to kill a tree as a result of concretisation," the bench had earlier said.
It had directed all the public authorities to ensure that public money is not unduly wasted and there shall be provision in the contracts of roads or beautification of the clauses ensuring the compliance of directions of the tribunal.