All the information on encroachments not available: NGT

The NGT said complete information regarding encroachments in the Southern Ridge area is not available. (DH Photo)

The NGT on Wednesday said complete information regarding encroachments in the Southern Ridge area is not available and directed officials to inform it about the total areas to be demarcated and illegal construction identified.

A vacation bench, headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore, directed the district magistrates of South, South East, and New Delhi to file a personal affidavit in this regard.

The National Green Tribunal also took strong note that the district magistrate of North and concerned officer of the Forest Department of District New Delhi was not present despite earlier orders and issued bailable warrants against them.

"We direct the district magistrate South, district magistrate South East and district magistrate New Delhi to file a personal affidavit mentioning therein the total areas to be demarcated and the area remaining, if any, which is yet to be demarcated and also the encroachments identified, removed and yet to be removed.

"It is made clear that the information with regard to the demarcation and the one which is yet to be demarcated and also removal of encroachments should be precise and in accordance to the revenue record which shall be taken as complete and final information from the department," the bench said.

It also directed the deputy conservator of Forest, South Division, under whom districts of South as well as South East fall, to file a personal affidavit to the effect that as to how much area has been fenced and the one which remains to be fenced by the department.

"It is made clear that the aforesaid affidavit should be filed well in advance with a copy to the counsel for the other side," the bench said while posting the matter for hearing on July 17.

The tribunal had earlier rapped the Delhi government over an improper depiction of encroachments on forest land in Southern Ridge area and sought a proper map giving complete details.

The green panel had earlier slammed the department over varying figures on forest land encroachments in Southern Ridge area and said it did not want ‘tamasha’ and sought authentic information on the issue.

It had granted a month to the department and the forest officials to inform it about the actual status of encroachments and the time needed for ridge demarcation.

The NGT had earlier summoned the principal chief conservator of forests and the AAP government's revenue secretary to inform it about the reasons for the delay in the demarcation of forest land in Southern Ridge area here.

The green panel had directed the principal chief conservator of forests to file an affidavit stating how much time would be needed to take the possession of the demarcated forest land in the Southern Ridge area here.

The tribunal was hearing a bunch of pleas filed by South Delhi resident Sonya Ghosh and others against encroachments on forest land in the Southern Ridge area and seeking their removal.

The NGT had directed the Delhi government to adhere to the time schedule and expeditiously carry out demarcation of the area falling within their limits.

It had said the city government was "frustrating" the orders of the green panel on one pretext or another and showing "disdainful conduct" in the matter. 

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