"The Court is of the view that the visual relief and therapeutic effects of greenery around one's place of work, residence or in one's neighbourhood cannot be overemphasized. All the more, in a post-riot scenario where thousands of citizens have suffered damages in body and mind, the presence of large number of trees and greenery will surely facilitate in healing of a bruised and battered society."
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed MCD's application for condonation of delay, subject to it planting 500 trees in the riot affected areas of Delhi within 2 weeks.
While passing the order, Justice Najmi Waziri observed,
"Considering that the petitioner is the Municipal Corporation of East Delhi and is willing to take appropriate measures to ameliorate the oppressive conditions faced by the citizens, who lack basic amenities in unauthorized colonies; which have become all the more sharp in the aftermath of the recent riots in East Delhi.
In the circumstance, MCD is directed to plant 500 trees in the riot affected areas, particularly in Shiv Vihar, Jafrabad, Maujpur, Seelampur, Gokulpuri, Yamuna Vihar, Mustafabad, etc."
The order has taken cue from various photographs of the riot affected areas available on the internet that show long stretches of public roads and streets without a blade of grass, let alone any tree or a bush on either side of the road or on the road divider.
In this backdrop, the court has asked the MCD to take prompt steps for restoration of ecology in the area.
The Director of the Horticulture Division of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation has undertaken to "recee the area extensively and to start plantation immediately, especially since the earth has become more receptive because of the recent rains in the city."
The court has directed the MCD to file photographs from both, before and after the plantation, supported by an affidavit of compliance, within 2 weeks.
The court has also asked them to remove the concrete around any existing trees so as to bring the situation in conformity with the order of the National Green Tribunal in Aditya N. Prasad v. Union of India & Ors., Application No. 82/2013.
The matter is now listed for March 17.
Case Title: MCD v. Ramesh Chand
Case No.: WP(C) No. 12492/2004
Quorum: Justice Najmi Waziri
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