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Forest Dept slaps Rs 18.7L fine on Bikaner House for choking trees with concrete floorings

New Delhi: The Delhi government's Forest Department has imposed a fine of Rs 18.70 lakh on Bikaner House for its failure to comply with a National Green Tribunal order to remove concrete flooring around tree trunks in its premises.

The NGT on April 23, 2013 had directed that there should be no concrete flooring in an area of one meter radius around tree trunks to ensure their good health and growth.

The tribunal's order had come on a plea by an advocate, Aditya Prasad, in 2013 seeking de-concretisation of tree bases.

Prasad subsequently had written to the Bikaner House last November to de-concretise the tree bases in its premises, saying it violated the NGT's order. He had also forwarded his letter to various Forest Department officials.

Prasad subsequently in February this year sent a copy of his letter to the NGT which took up the issue on May 23 and ordered the Delhi's principal chief conservator of forest and wildlife to look into the matter and take appropriate actions within a month.

On the NGT order, South Delhi's deputy conservator of forest and other officials of South Forest Division inspected the Bikaner House premises on June 7 and found 187 trees being choked due to concretised flooring around them.

The latest notice sent by the DCF, South to the Rajasthan government's resident commissioner at Bikaner House said the department had ordered deconcretisation of tree bases and sought a compliance report of the order by June 20.

"No compliance report in this regard has been received by this office till date. Therefore, ... a fine of Rs 10,000 per tree

(base) concretised amounting to Rs 18.7 lakh for 187 concretised tree bases is imposed upon

you. The fine must be paid through https://epayment.delhigov.nic.in immediately," said the notice.

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