HC slams govt for no details of trees supplied to crematoriums
A Bench of justices Badar <g data-gr-id="24">Durrez</g> Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said it was convenient to say all the trees that were cut have been sent to crematoriums, since they would have been burnt to ashes and therefore, there would be no need for accounting.
“Many of those trees must have ended up as doors or furniture somewhere,” the court said and added there was no affidavit of the department on record. The Bench, thereafter, directed that the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests shall be present before it on the next date of hearing.
It also directed Delhi government to make available on the next date of hearing the latest maps of all forest areas in the national Capital territory.
The court made the observations and issued the directions after Delhi government said that according to its policy, all trees that are cut with permission of forest department and taken away by it are given free of cost to the crematoriums.
The court, meanwhile, directed all the authorities to file their affidavits and listed the matter for hearing on August 12. The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it on its own on the issue of increasing air pollution in Delhi. It had earlier sought from the forest department “the extent of wood consumed in crematoriums in Delhi and the extent of trees that have been cut down resulting in the quantity of timber which they (forest department) say they supplied to the crematoriums”.
The court had also sought details of the revenue collected by the Forest Department for granting permission for cutting trees in Delhi in the past 10 years.