The Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up Delhi's forest department for passing “non-speaking” and “stereotypical” orders allowing felling of trees in the national capital..Justice Jasmeet Singh orally remarked that it is the casual approach of the department and its officials that has led to toxic levels or air pollution in the city with the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching alarming levels.“You want people to live in gas chambers? You are responsible for the mess that the citizens of Delhi are in today due to pollution. There are machines that record air quality, the maximum that the machines can record is 999. Today, we are touching that… It is the sensitivity [among officials] that is lacking,” he said..The Court was hearing a contempt petition filed against the Delhi forest authorities for granting permission for felling of trees by passing “one line orders” and not giving any reasons for such directions.While hearing the same case, the Court had on September 14, 2023 ordered that no permission shall be granted for felling of trees to construct houses in the city. In August, the Bench had said that no permission for felling of trees for any individuals will be granted and any permission required for important projects will be intimated to the Court.Advocate Aditya N Prasad appeared for the petitioner Bhavreen Kandhari and argued that despite clear directions from the High Court that officials must pass detailed orders, non-reasoned orders are being passed and trees are being felled..The Court examined some of the orders passed by the forest officials and observed that they amounted to violation of court’s orders.“This is blatant violation of our orders, this is dereliction of duty, you are trying shortcuts, cutting corners. This is total disregard of the court’s orders,” the Bench remarked.It added that the Court is not against development but development must co-exist with nature and heritage. "Development must co-exist with nature & heritage. We are not coming in the way of development, if there is a traffic jam, you will have to widen the roads. But, it can’t be that you will cut 50 trees around it. If there is no other way, then only you should go ahead no. Trees can’t be removed. You have to find a way. How can colonies be treeless?".Justice Singh further hinted that on the next date of hearing, he will consider framing contempt of court notices against the forest officials.The matter was then adjourned to November 8 as an application filed by the government seeking clarification of the Court’s order was not on record.