A team will then visit the site to ascertain whether it is necessary to cut the tree or not. The applicant will also have to compensate for the move by depositing charges to plant 10 times the number of trees felled and will also have to bear their maintenance cost for three years. The regulation will be tabled in the MCG House meeting to be held on July 31.
The corporation proposed the regulation after the forest department asked it to first review applications for tree felling on the basis of environmental consequences before forwarding them. In a letter to the MCG commissioner on June 2, the department said more trees are being cut because of the recent increment in the floor area ratio and permission to build four floors on residential plots with a provision of stilt parking.
“As per the proposed tree felling/pruning regulation, the applicant will have to first seek permission from the nodal officer. We will first check whether the tree is obstructing the entry of the main gate or construction of the house, besides other conditions set to grant permission for tree felling. Once the applicant deposits compensation charges, we will forward the application to the forest department for their final approval. Once the approval is granted, we will cut down the tree,” nodal officer Subhash Yadav said.
MCG officials said that as per the existing practice, the forest department levies the compensatory charge of planting 10 times the number of trees felled only in case the applicant is a builder or an organisation. Since the application will now go from MCG to the forest department, the applicants or individuals applying for tree felling will have to deposit the charges to the corporation.
The proposal also recommends a penalty on those engaged in illegal felling and pruning of trees. It has been proposed that tree felling without MCG’s permission shall be considered as an offence under the Municipal Act, 1994 and Environment Protection Act, 1986. The offender will have to deposit the cost of compensatory plantation of 20 times the number of trees felled illegally with three years’ maintenance.
For illegal pruning of trees in MCG areas, those pruning branches more than 25cm in diameter without permission will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 per branch. “If the offender fails to deposit the amount, the matter shall be filed in the special environment court, Faridabad for prosecution,” the proposed regulation states.