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Delhi High Court Directs State To Urgently Appoint Officials To Support Tree Officers Till Forest Department Personnel Are Deployed

Nupur Thapliyal
12 May 2022 4:07 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Directs State To Urgently Appoint Officials To Support Tree Officers Till Forest Department Personnel Are Deployed

The Delhi High Court has recently sought the response of the State Government on the measures taken by it for securing it's tree officers in the discharge of their duties.

Justice Najmi Waziri therefore ordered the Delhi Government, for the interim, to appoint other officers, subordinate-staff and personnel under Section 6 of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 on an urgent basis, to support the Tree Officers lest the city's environment will suffer irreparably and resultantly cause much prejudice to the health of its residents.

"Within three weeks, the GNCTD shall also put at the disposal of the Tree Officers sufficient number of all motor vehicles for a Quick Reaction Team. The learned counsel say that all-terrain vehicles would be best-suited for forest areas," the Court added.

The development came after the Delhi Government apprised the court that in its endeavour to create a reckonable team of officers at various levels to protect the forests and green-cover in the city, it has undertaken an initiative last year under which eleven Wildlife Guards had been deployed which working in the field, four Forest Rangers jad been selected who were undergoing training at Orissa Forest Ranger College.

The Court thus noted that there was no disagreement of the fact that the said exercise ought to have been completed by almost a decade and a half ago and that the the delay possibly led to wanton tree-falling in the city, which loss could have been avoided had there been sufficient number of officers in the Forest Department or under its deployment or were available for providing assistance to the Tree Officers under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.

"However, as can be seen from the training timelines, by the time the force of Forest Officers is actually deployed in the field, it would take another year or so, by which time much more damage would have been done to the trees and environment of Delhi. Residents of Delhi cannot wait the deployment of the requisite forest department personnel, at the cost of losing their valuable tree cover," the Court noted.

Thus, the Court was of the view that requisite protective force should be made available to the Forest Department as well as to the Tree Officers.

Accordingly, the matter was listed for further hearing on May 13.


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