NEW DELHI: The forest department has served a notice to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute for “illegally felling, pruning and heading back trees.”
Forest officials said nearly 15 trees situated within the hospital campus were felled, pruned and headed back without taking mandatory permission from the department. It is a violation under Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.
Deputy conservator of forests, South, Amit Anand said a notice was served to the hospital on Monday after a forest officer inspected the spot on Friday. “We have served the notice to the hospital for not seeking permission to fell, prune and head back trees. A hearing in the matter will take place after a fortnight.”
The matter came to light after environment activist Verhaen Khanna filed a complaint with the forest department. “Trees, which were felled, heavily pruned and headed back, were situated near the main entrance gate and behind the main building within the hospital campus. The trees, which were damaged, appeared to be around 25 to 30 years old,” claimed Khanna. He added, “Many trees die when they are heavily pruned or headed back.”
However, a senior official of the hospital denied the allegations. “No notice from the forest department has been received yet. We would like to emphasise that no illegal felling/pruning of trees has been done at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla Road. Only some pruning work was undertaken as part of routine maintenance of green belt and driveway area of hospital for safe and clear movement of ambulances in emergent situations,” an official statement from the hospital said.
“As a responsible organisation, we will submit all required details to the forest department whenever called upon to do so. Fortis is committed to a green and clean environment and has undertaken various greening initiatives from time to time,” added the statement.

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