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No encroachment shall be allowed on forest land in Southern Ridge: Delhi govt tells NGT

The Delhi government Wednesday told the National Green Tribunal that no encroachment shall be allowed on forest land in Southern Ridge.

The Forest Department told a bench comprising Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore and expert member Satyawan Singh Garbyal that fencing work on the land is going on and shall be completed soon.

"No encroachment, whatsoever, shall be allowed to be made on the land in question, including the one which has already been allotted," it said.

The tribunal has summoned the district magistrate, tehsildar and patwari of the area concerned to appear in person and explain the queries in the matter.

The NGT has now posted the matter for hearing on June 26.

Earlier, the green panel had rapped the Delhi government over improper depiction of encroachments on forest land in Southern Ridge and sought a proper map giving complete detail.

The tribunal said the map, prepared by the Revenue Department, which has been shown to it, has neither been signed by the official of the Revenue Department, nor is the same authentic as there is no seal of the department.

It had earlier slammed the department over varying figures on forest land encroachments in Southern Ridge and said it did not want 'tamasha' and sought authentic information on the issue.

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

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

The NGT 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.