New Delhi, Nov 29 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction with the Delhi Forest Department over the construction of a 6 to 8 feet wide trail inside the Central Ridge, which is a reserved forest located in the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor in the national capital.
Hearing a contempt plea, Justice Jasmeet Singh said that the Forest Department is the custodian, not the owner of the Central Ridge, which belongs to the citizens of the country.
The court questioned the need for a road in the ridge and warned against treating it as a personal fiefdom.
Justice Singh noted issues related to tree plantation and raised concerns about unauthorised construction within the Ridge.
The court took note of a report about the construction of a trail near Malcha Mahal and observed that such actions should not be treated lightly.
The Delhi Government’s counsel admitted that the trail was constructed without permission from the Central Ridge Management Board.
The court directed the government to produce the original file related to the construction on the next date of hearing, which is December 15.
Additionally, the Amicus Curiae presented satellite images highlighting a dense forest in the Ridge last year and a bald patch this year.
The court instructed the Delhi Government to file a status report on this matter and warned against any construction without proper permission.It stressed the significance of the Central Ridge for the people of Delhi and directed the removal of the trail if proper permission is not obtained by December 15.
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