New Delhi: The Delhi High Court sought the Centre and AAP government’s stand on a PIL claiming that environmental degradation caused due to felling of trees in the national capital will led to serious changes in weather patterns and water scarcity here.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Environment Ministry and Delhi government and sought their reply to the plea claiming that felling of trees in the city could lead to reduction in the atmospheric water content.
The court listed the matter for hearing with other similar PILs on August 16.
The plea by Delhi residents Rohit Kumar and Abhishek Gupta has sought directions to the authorities to frame proper guidelines for future construction projects based on the principles of sustainable development, public trust doctrine and intergenerational equity.
Senior advocate Prashanto Chandra Sen and advocate Prashant Shandilya, appearing for the petitioners, contended that there would be a detrimental effect on the overall ecology of the city if cutting of trees for construction projects went unchecked.
Apart from air pollution, another problem which is at sight for the citizens of the Delhi is the issue of water scarcity. Delhi’s water cycle has been completely disturbed from last many years, and we are experiencing the annual decline in the rainfall and thus the water shortage especially in summer months.
The possible reasons for the disturbance in the rain pattern of Delhi is may be due to the alteration of overall ecology of Delhi, the petition has said.
It has also said that due to rapid environmental degradation there has been an adverse impact on the monsoon in Delhi and rainfall is also declining. “This gives rise to the increase in average temperature during monsoon season and prolonged the summer temperature till October. This change in weather is also affecting the winters of Delhi.
Delhi which was known for its long (November-March) and sometimes unforgiving winters, has largely shrunk to a few weeks, witnessed in late December and January, the plea has said.
The petitioners, one a lawyer and other a law graduate, have attributed these climatic changes to the overall alteration of Delhi’s ecosystem due to the loss of natural vegetation and rapid urbanization.
“This continuous degradation has also adversely impacted the water cycle of Delhi,” they have said in their plea.
They have sought setting up of a panel of experts in climate change, water and forest conservation to conduct a macro Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) related to and incidental with the cutting and felling of trees for ongoing and the future projects.
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