NGT slams govt for casual approach to marking forest land
New Delhi: National Green Tribunal rapped the Delhi government for its “casual” approach in demarcation of forest land in the southern ridge area and directed it to complete the exercise within a month.
A bench headed by Justice S P Wangdi said despite assurances by the revenue department and the other concerned authorities that the demarcation work would be completed on time, nothing has been done.
The tribunal warned that in case the order was not complied with, disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against concerned officials and a cost of Rs 2 lakh would be paid by each respondent, particularly the revenue department and the department of forest.
It said that NGT’s December 20, 2017 order was “clear and categorical” in directing that the regime prescribed for the process of demarcation was required to be strictly followed in order to avoid “floodgate of claims and counter claims by all concerned parties” having land adjoining the ridge area in the villages of Ranpuri, Rajokri and Ghitorni in Vasant Kunj subdivision.
“Upon perusal of the records of the case, we find that there has been absolute casualness on the part of the concerned authorities, who have been recalcitrant and, as observed earlier, procrastinating in completing the work entrusted upon them,” observed the green bench.
The tribunal said that an updated first status report for the same is required to be filed within 15 days of the order dated 9th February with the first draft to be submitted on Febru- ary 26 and the final demarcation report to be submitted on March 13. “Since, enough time has been taken by the revenue department and the other concerned authorities to complete the work, further time sought for is granted with a strict direction that the work shall be completed within the next one month,” the bench noted.
NGT had last year in July, pulled up the Delhi government for not sticking to their deadlines and had threatened fines if the demarcation was not completed on time.