The Delhi High Court on Wednesday banned the felling of trees in the city till further orders, ANI reported. The court’s decision came two days after the National Green Tribunal ordered that trees should not be cut down till July 19. Nearly 1,500 trees have already been cut down, according to media reports.

The government had wanted to cut down the trees in order to redevelop seven colonies in South Delhi. But the court said that it would “not allow Delhi to die at the cost of the redevelopment projects”, The Indian Express reported. “East Kidwai Nagar will be demolished if need be as it seems to be haphazard and does not consider density and impact on neighbouring hospitals too,” ANI quoted the court as saying.

Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has proposed to plant saplings in other places to increase the green cover. But the plea before the green tribunal said it would not reduce the burden put on the environment due to the large-scale deforestation.

On June 25, state-owned construction company NBCC told the High Court that it would not cut trees till July 4. NBCC (India) Ltd, formerly called the National Buildings Construction Corporation, has been tasked with developing three of the seven colonies.