New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal Wednesday directed the tree officer concerned to probe the alleged destruction of a green belt by cutting trees for construction of a drain in east Delhi.

A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore asked the petitioner to approach the tree officer of the area.

“After having considered the submissions made by the counsels for the parties as well as on perusal of the records, including photographs, we are of the considered opinion that it is a fit case which should be looked into by the concerning Tree Officer under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994,” the bench, also comprising expert member Satyawan Singh Garbyal, said.

The tribunal said that the tree officer would be free to pass appropriate orders, including restoration of area, if vacant space is left after construction of the drain and also to direct the Public Works Department to make plantations of at least 10 times of the tree which has been actually destroyed.

“The counsel for NCT of Delhi is directed to furnish a copy of this order to the concerning Tree Officer for taking appropriate steps, as mentioned above,” the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by the Legal Aid Committee-NGT alleging that some private persons have destroyed the green belt at Rajkumar Gautam Marg in East Vinod Nagar, opposite Pocket -C, Mayur Vihar Phase-II, to construct a drain.

The plea said as the green belt has been destroyed and some trees have been uprooted, the open space which is now in existence is being used by hawkers and other persons which is not only creating inconvenience to the public at large but also resulting in accumulation of garbage.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.