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Delhi HC asks forest department to file status report on protection of trees from termites in Kirti Nagar park

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has recently sought a status report from the Forest Department and other agencies on a plea of the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) seeking protection of trees from termites in an MCD Park in Kirti Nagar. Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notice to the Delhi Government, Deputy Conservator of Forests, and MCD and directed them to file a status report before the next date of hearing on April 22, 2024. During the hearing, it was stated by the counsel for the MCD that remedial steps have already been taken to the satisfaction of the RWA. However, RWA's advocate Gagan Gandhi disputes the MCD's statement.
Earlier, RWA of the Kirti Nagar's H Block moved a petition in the High Court. The petitioner sought directions from the Forest Department and MCD to inspect the park wherein trees infected with termites are situated and take appropriate action to preserve them. It is stated that the petitioner urged the Dy Conservator of Forests (DCF), North Division, as well as other concerned authorities, namely Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Department of Forests and Wildlife, Government of NCT of Delhi, Deputy Commissioner, Karol Bagh Zone, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Deputy Director, Horticulture, Karol Bagh Zone, to take necessary action to preserve the trees.
Advocate Gagan Gandhi argued that despite repeated requests for the preservation of the trees, the DCF passed an order to cut down the trees. It has been submitted that trees are natural air purifiers known for their prolific ability to sequester carbon from the air. Therefore, considering the troubling and alarming deterioration of air quality in the National Capital, the maintenance of green cover is essential for the health of Indian citizens, the plea stated. According to the plea, a complaint was made on June 16, 2023, followed by reminders on June 22 and June 30, to the respondent, the tree officer, bringing his attention to the issue of trees being infected by the termites.

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