NEW DELHI: Delhi’s environment minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday directed the forest department to stop cutting of trees on Aurobindo Marg. Two days ago, TOI had carried a report about more than a hundred tree lovers and activists forming human chains around trees to protest against their felling to widen roads in south Delhi.
The decision was taken in a meeting held with forest officials and the citizens’ group. The minister assured the locals that cutting of trees would stop immediately. He directed the forest department to submit all supporting documents on the road widening plans, including cutting down of nine trees on Aurobindo Marg. The forest department had cleared the proposal as it found the trees to be “dangerous” for traffic. Hussain also asked for a copy to be sent to the protesting locals.
“We have been directed to submit all the documents, including reports submitted by the traffic police and orders of the LG. Permission has been given to cut only nine trees so far on the basis of reports from traffic police,” a senior forest official told TOI.
According to forest officials, the trees being cut on Aurobindo Marg are part of a larger plan to decongest four more corridors in the area. While the forest department has given permission for nine trees to be cut so far, residents say nearly 30 trees on an 8km stretch have been identified for felling.
Hussain further assured the citizens’ group that he would direct the forest department to follow CIC orders and upload all details on the website. Tree lovers in the area, meanwhile, see it as a positive sign. They also plan to approach the minister for another meeting.”He has asked us to a send a request for another meeting with the agencies concerned in order to find a lasting solution. We are happy with the support from the minister who has assured us that the matter will be discussed in great detail as it is in the larger interest of Delhiites,” said Preeti Bharadwaj, an activist who took part in Tuesday’s meeting
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