Chhattisgarh HC stays felling of green trees for road widening in Bilaspur

Chhattisgarh High Court has stayed the felling of green trees for widening of Link Road in Bilaspur district.

Bilaspur: Chhattisgarh High Court has stayed the felling of green trees for widening of Link Road in Bilaspur district.

The court has, however, allowed cutting of trees that have dried up in the presence of eligible officials and experts.

Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastav delivered the order yesterday on a petition filed by some environmentalists challenging the cutting of trees on Bilaspur town`s Link Road.

The HC has also issued notices to Bilaspur Municipal Corporation and Public Works Department seeking their reply in connection with felling of trees, including trees which have been cut down so far and will be chopped further.
The court has sought response on the notices till next hearing on May 14.

On May 5, the district administration, forest department and Bilaspur Municipal Corporation had started cutting of 74 trees on Link Road for widening of road and public safety. So far around a dozen trees have been cut.

Later, environmentalist Mansoor Khan, Nand Kumar Kashyap, and seven others filed a petition and sought a halt on cutting of trees. They mentioned that administration had also cut down green trees along with dry ones, petitioners` counsel Amrito Das said.

During the hearing yesterday, the HC stayed chopping of green trees on Link Road and allowed cutting down of trees which had dried up, in the presence of eligible officials and experts, he said.

Advocate-General JK Gilda, who appeared for the administration, said, "The court has halted the cutting of green trees till next Wednesday, the day scheduled for next hearing. However, the cutting of dry and dead tress will be underway as per the directives."
The administration is also concerned about the environment, therefore it has promised to plant 10 saplings for removing each tree from the Link Road, Gilda said.

The trees were found to be obstructing traffic or developmental activities such as widening of roads in the Link Road region and dead and decayed trees were posing danger to public life. Therefore, the step was taken by the administration in this direction, he said.

"We will further present our side during next hearing," he said.

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