New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on Ghaziabad Development Authority for cutting 12 trees for construction of 17.6 km-long cycle track.
"Cutting 12 Eucalyptus full grown trees would certainly have adverse impact on the environment and ecology of area. In terms of Section 15 of the NGT act these persons would be liable to pay environmental compensation for reforestation of 10 times the trees that were cut.
"We dispose of this application with a direction to GDA/ contractor to pay sum of Rs 5 lakh to the Forest Department for illegal and unauthorised cutting of trees and adversely affecting the ecology and environment in that area," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The tribunal also made it clear that this fine would be in addition the amount of Rs 4,98,576 already paid by GDA to the forest department of Uttar Pradesh.
It said that the entire sum of Rs 9,98,576 shall be used for afforestation and maintenance of 120 trees, which the GDA has to plant.
The bench also directed GDA to ensure that trees are planted in and around the area where the 12 trees have been felled.
"We further direct that the trees which are in existence and/or which are planted there shall not be damaged and there shall be no concretisation of the area around the trees, to ensure that water goes to these trees and there is proper percolation of the water to the ground.
"The GDA shall ensure that wherever it makes a park adjacent area should be green to ensure proper percolation of water," the bench said while clearing decks for the cycle track.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Uttar Pradesh resident Rajendra Tyagi seeking directions to restrain GDA from felling trees in green belt for construction of cycle track.
The cycle track was being constructed from Hapur Chungi intersection to Vivekanand flyover and from Vivekanand Nagar to Rajnagar District Centre flyover.