Delhi forest dept conducts workshop for road owning agencies


The Delhi forest department on Tuesday conducted a workshop for the road owning and construction agencies of the city to educate them on ways to preserve the ecology of an area while undertaking digging and construction activities

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 11:50 PM IST

The Delhi forest department on Tuesday conducted a workshop for the road owning and construction agencies of the city to educate them on ways to preserve the ecology of an area while undertaking digging and construction activities.

The workshop was carried out on the directions of the Delhi high court, which in an order issued on February 10, asked the Delhi government to initiate measures to sensitise agencies to the importance of preserving trees while undertaking civil construction work.

The court was hearing the matter against the PWD for damaging the roots of trees during the construction of a drain on Meera Marg at Lodi Road. Complaints were received by the forest department of 30 trees being damaged on Meera Marg by the PWD work in September last year, while in January again another 12 trees were damaged by this.

The workshop was convened by the principal chief conservator forests (PCCF) Ishwar Singh and chief conservator forests (CCF) Nishith Saxena. Environment experts including Prabhakar Rao, member of Kalpkrish, an environment action group, and Vallari Sheel, researcher and urban ecologist also discussed ways in which agencies can avoid harming trees and ecology of an area by digging, concretisation and construction work.

Agencies that were in attendance in the session was Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), representatives from the three municipal corporations (south, north and east) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment.

Participants in the workshop said that details of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act (DPTA), 1994, was discussed, and court directions of the past that have pronounced best practices for the preservation of trees were also highlighted. The instances of agencies indulging in practices such as concretisation and excessive pruning were also discussed by experts and senior forest department officials.

“This was a good initiative. A conversation has started around best practices that could be adopted to protect our ecology. I hope this can be extended as a series of sessions so that sensitisation can be developed among agencies,” said Vallari Sheel, one of the experts who conducted the session.

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