The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the Delhi Chief Secretary to issue a notification within two weeks declaring all unencroached forest area in the capital as reserved forest..Justice Jasmeet Singh pulled up the Delhi government for its failure to protect the forests of Delhi and said that the Chief Secretary will have to remain present in Court if the notification is not issued in two weeks. The Court warned that contempt of court notice will be issued to the Chief Secretary if the order is not complied within two weeks. “In case the Section 20 notification is not issued within two weeks, the Chief Secretary GNCTD shall be liable for contempt action and notice of contempt will be framed on that day. In case the notification is not issued, the Chief Secretary shall appear before the Court through VC,” the Court ordered..The Court was dealing with a set of petitions concerning the encroachment on the city's forests.It was informed that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had passed an order on January 15, 2021 directing the Chief Secretary to ensure that the notification under Section 20 of Indian Forest Act, declaring unencroached forests as reserved forest is issued within three months.NGT had said that its orders shall be complied in three months.The Court was told that even though nearly three years have passed since the order, no such notification has been issued..Justice Singh expressed strong displeasure over the non-compliance with the order and remarked that if the government cannot take care of forests, it shall make a statement that only God can help Delhi’s citizens.“I can issue contempt notice but why is the administration expressing helplessness? If you are incapable, make a statement and say God help the citizens of Delhi… Say that we are at the mercy of God and the government cannot do anything,” the Court remarked..It was also told that the NGT had directed the constitution of an oversight committee (OC) to oversee the progress regarding removal of encroachments from forests and their restitution.The committee was to be headed by the Director General (Forest), Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change and had been ordered to hold a meeting at least once a month.Justice Singh noted that there should have been at least 34 meetings but the minutes of meetings showed that the committee met barely half-a-dozen times.“Another shocking aspect is that of the 394 hectares of forest land which has been encroached, only 82 hectares have been made free over a period of four years. It is further submitted by Advocate Madan Lal Sharma and Amicus Curiae that even on this free land, encroachment has come up again,” the Court said.This showed total disregard for directions issued by the NGT. "In case, the directions of the NGT are not acted upon scrupulously and in letter and intent and spirit by the oversight committee, this court will be constrained to issued contempt notice against the members of the oversight committee.”The Court also ordered the authorities filed a comprehensive affidavit detailing the steps taken to reclaim the encroached land, the afforestation action taken and all other details.The matter will be heard next on December 15..Advocates Aditya N Prasad and Gautam Narayan acted as amicus curiae in the petition filed by Devinder.Delhi government was represented through Additional Standing Counsel (ASC) Satyakam.