The National Green Tribunal refrains the Uttarakhand Government from chopping trees in the State for the construction of roads owing to the fact that the State Government delayed a response for a plea sought by a CBI enquiry regarding the recent forest fires dismantling the environment to an exorbitant level.
“We restrain Government of Uttarakhand and the contractors working from cutting and felling any trees from forest land for the purposes of melting the coal tar for laying metalled road in the State of Uttarakhand,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said as reported by NDTV.
Silence of the state and central govt.
The Tribunal jotted that despite the grant of opportunity the government did not publish any response justifying the forest fires and was also unable to justify the humongous knocking down of trees and burning them for melting coal tar to lay metalled roads in the State. During the hearing advocate of the petitioner, Sugriva Dubey, listed an RTI reply by Public Works Department which stated the heavy usage of woods for construction and repairing of roads in Almora and Nainital districts of Uttarakhand although the hearing is now postponed on August 3.
Fight of an NGO
The decision of the tribunal was the result of a plea by an NGO ‘Friends’ which alleged that a nexus of timber mafia and some greedy villagers was responsible for the forest degradation due to fire and that the government turned deaf ears to the issue with no investigation in the matter and the State must be prohibited from cutting any further trees for any road work .According to Mr. Sharad Tiwari, General of Friends, the authorities have not taken any efficacious step to control the forest fire despite the fact that the tribunal had earlier sought responses from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and governments of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh concerning the increasing forest fires in both states on May 4 the authorities opt to turn their cheek and be silent.
1300 forest fires this season have already caused enough of destruction demolishing the entire hilly area. and smashing 2600 hectares of land have been c