NEW DELHI: According to numbers released by the Delhi government, the Public Works Department sought the most number of permissions to fell trees between 2005 and 2010, followed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Railways. However, the experts urged for a full covered tree census, saying that for a city like Delhi, tree census is mandatory.
Based on permissions granted by the Delhi government, the PWD had chopped 15,672 trees. While the DMRC was allowed to cut down 15,276 trees and the Railways, 6,388 trees in the given time period. However, the Delhi government's website does not host agency-wise segregated data after any permissions granted post-2010.
The Delhi government was directed to make the disclosures following a controversy over the felling of around 15,000 trees in South Delhi for the redevelopment of seven government housing colonies. The proposal to chop down trees in such large numbers had sparked outrage among citizens and activists, who vehemently opposed the move leading the Delhi High Court to impose a stay on the proposal.
Standing instructions from the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the Delhi High Court prompted the incumbent in Delhi to post such details on its official website. According to the numbers, one tree has been cut down every hour for the past 13 years in Delhi.
However, environmentalists allege that the Delhi Tree Authority (DTA) is not doing enough. As per a 2018 CAG report, the DTA has met only once in the past three years.