national green tribunal

National Green Tribunal: In an application filed against violation of environmental norms in construction at Flag Staff Road and Rajpur Road, Delhi, which is Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, the three-member Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member), constituted a Joint Committee to investigate the alleged violations of environmental norms in constructions at the residence.

In the matter at hand, the applicant approached NGT against the constructions at the CM’s residence, in which permanent and semi-permanent constructions have been raised and more than 20 trees cut. The case of the applicant was that the constructions required approval of Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) under the Delhi Urban Art Commission Act, 1973 which was declined by the DUAC in its 1564th meeting dated 06-11-2020. Later, permissions were granted for felling 28 trees. However, the applicant also alleged that permissions for tree cutting were taken by manipulation. Instead of disclosing that 28 trees were to be cut, in which permission of higher authority was required, permissions were taken in instalments of cutting less than 10 trees.

It was also alleged that conditions for granting permissions for cutting of trees required planting of 280 saplings, however, only 83 saplings were planted.

The Tribunal noted the significance of requirement of compliance for cutting trees and providing green belt as a condition for constructions in congested and polluted city of Delhi. Thus, the Tribunal considered it necessary to constitute a Joint Committee comprising of Chief Secretary, Delhi, Principal Secretary (Environment and Forest) Delhi, nominee of DUAC and District Magistrate of the area, to investigate the allegations.

The Tribunal said that a meeting of the Committee may be held within one week and the report may be furnished within three weeks. It was also stated that the Committee will be free to interact with any other Department or Authority and undertake a visit to the site. In the event of any violations found, the Committee can take remedial action in coordination with the concerned statutory authorities, in accordance with law.

The matter was further listed on 31-05-2023.

[Naresh Chaudhary v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine NGT 172, Order Dated: 09-05-2023]

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