PIL filed in High Court against tree felling for development projects

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IMPHAL, June 20: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the High Court of Manipur against the felling of full grown trees for development works including widening of the Keishampat to Malom bazar stretch of the Tiddim Road by the State and Centre violating the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Contending that no environmental clearance was obtained under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 in the course of execution of the projects, it drew the attention of the Court to restrain the respondents or to make an alternative choice for transplantation of the growing trees.

The PIL (no. 13 of 2014) was lodged by Karam Hemchandra Sing, 38, son of K Khelen Singh of Wangkhei Lourembam Leikai before the court of Justice N Kotiswar Singh.

The PIL initially was taken up by the Division bench but due to non-availability of the division bench the matter was placed before the court of Justice N Kotiswar Singh as an unlisted matter on mention.

The respondents of the petition are principal secretary (Works), representing on behalf of State of Manipur, chief engineer, PWD and Union of India represented by the Ministry of Transport.

The counsels of the petitioner are N Kumarjit Singh, Sr advocate assisted by advocate P Tamphamani Singh while the counsels of the respondents are additional AG, Kh Nobin assisted by senior advocate N Ibotombi.

In the petition, Hemchandra pointed out that the Government of Manipur under the assistance of the central government executed many development projects in the state.

The petitioner has mentioned that one such project is the widening of National Highway 150 (Keishampat to Malom Bazar). And as part of the project, the government of Manipur is felling/cutting full grown trees standing alongside the road stretch.

The PIL has further claimed that the government is also executing the construction of the Sanjenthong and expressed concerned that the government is preparing to fell full grown trees growing along the roadside of Imphal to Pureilomba Khongnang Makhong.

The petitioner has also raised the issue of the construction of the diversion bridge for Sanjenthong in Mahabali forest area and expressed concerned over the preparation to fell full-grown trees for the construction of the bridge.

The matter was listed on July 9 before the Division bench for further consideration.

 

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