Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has again written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pointing at the "unwarranted delay" in permitting the felling of trees and their translocation, saying this has stalled several critical development projects in the city, officials at the LG Office said on Friday.
Saxena also raised the issue with Kejriwal during the weekly meeting on Friday evening, they said. Fifteen major projects involving the felling of trees and translocation of over 8,000 trees are stalled as the government is yet to give permission, they claimed.
The Delhi government, for its part, said it will “look into the matter”. According to the officials, the LG has in his letter highlighted the wastage of public money and cost overruns due to “such unwarranted delay” and has stressed the need to fix accountability.
On August 17, the LG had shot a similar letter to Kejriwal, but it has failed to evoke any response from the government, they said.
“Any kind of indecision in such matters not only hampers the pace of development projects but also affects public welfare. I once again exhort you to look into the issue and expedite the long-pending clearances for transplantation/ tree cutting so that projects of national importance can be completed within their laid down timelines,” Saxena wrote in his latest letter.
The stalled projects include the redevelopment of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as a world-class medical university, which demands the felling or translocation of 2,143 trees. The authorities have been awaiting permission since January.
Permission from the forest department is also being awaited for over a year to take up several projects, including the Metro rail lines, construction of a new engineering block and academic complex in IIT Delhi, a CISF building in Saket, Dwarka Expressway Phase II, and residential projects at Sriniwaspuri and Sarojini Nagar, among others.
According to the norms, the Delhi government's forest department has to decide on the applications pertaining to the felling of trees and their translocation within 60 days, but in several cases, the pendency has exceeded more than a year, the officials claimed.
(With PTI Inputs)