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After Criticism, Environment Minister Says Delhi Govt Needs No Permission To Cut Trees

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan categorically stated that the Delhi government has ‘neither taken nor does it need to take permission’ from his ministry to cut trees.

Aradhna Wal | News18.com

Updated:June 27, 2018, 9:47 PM IST
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After Criticism, Environment Minister Says Delhi Govt Needs No Permission To Cut Trees
File photo of Environment Minister Harshvardhan. (CNN-News18 TV grab)
New Delhi: The union environment ministry distanced itself from the tree cutting row in the national capital, saying it was the mandate of state government to grant permission to cut trees, not of the central ministry.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan issued a statement on Wednesday evening, after the central ministry too was criticised for the large scale tree felling to redevelop government colonies.

He categorically stated that the Delhi government has ‘neither taken nor does it need to take permission’ from his ministry to cut trees.

He added, "The ongoing work is being carried out with the approval of concerned authorities of Delhi Government and permissions have been given as per Delhi Preservation of Tree Act, 1994, which is a State Act."

The environmental clearance required to cut trees, is also subject to various statutory approvals of the state government including permission under the Delhi Preservation of Tree Act, 1994.

The environmental clearance also includes a mandate to develop 40 per cent of the project area as a green belt.

Vardhan, however, stressed on his ministry's commitment to increase the national capital’s green cover, saying, "There has been an increase of 7,84,300 ha of green cover in the country in the last two years as per the India State of Forest Report, 2017. During the same period, the green cover of NCT of Delhi has also increased by 563 ha. Now the green cover of Delhi is 20.59% of its total geographical area."

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| Edited by: Parth Sharma
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