Delhi HC orders forest official's appearance on flyover issue

New Delhi


 The Delhi High Court has ordered for the personal appearance of Delhi's deputy conservator of forest, central ridge reserve forest, on July 1 to explain the delay in grant of permission to fell trees to widen the road along the single-lane flyover on Rao Tula Ram (RTR) Marg here.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw also asked the officer to file an affidavit on the delay in grant of permission to cut down trees.

The court's direction came on a public interest litigation on the delay in completing the road widening work from Subroto Park to Army Research and Referral Hospital on the Outer Ring Road.

The bench slammed the Department of Forest and Wildlife on the delay in permission to fell the trees, which were causing traffic snarls on the stretch.

Delay in the grant of permission to cut the trees had resulted in a situation where trees were standing in the middle of the road, posing a hazard to the motorists, the bench said.

Miffed at the forest department's failure to file its response on the PIL as well as to grant the permission despite repeated opportunities, the high court said the "authority appears to be holding up the work".

"In the circumstances, we direct the personal presence of deputy conservator of forest, central ridge reserve forest, New Delhi, or of such other officer who may be responsible for deciding the request for cutting of the said trees, before this court on the next date of hearing (July 1) to explain as to why the issue of grant of permission is held up," said the court.

Pointing out that there was vehicular congestion on both sides of the flyover, petitioner Vishal Raj Sehijpal sought court directions to remove poles, boards, bus stop and trees from the road for safe, easy and free flow of traffic from National Highway-8 towards the RTR T-point.

The PIL also sought court directions for construction of a parallel flyover on the road to ease traffic congestion, which was not only adversely affecting environment but also resulting in waste of time and inconvenience for the general public. - IANS