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Ludhiana

Posted at: Jul 13, 2018, 1:04 AM; last updated: Jul 13, 2018, 1:04 AM (IST)

1,963 trees escape axe for now

No felling till next hearing in the case at NGT on August 3
1,963 trees escape axe for now
Residents protest against proposed axing of trees. File photo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12

Around 1,963 trees facing axe due to the elevated road project of the NHAI have got a reprieve for now as the NHAI application for permission to fell them was not heard by the Bench today. The NGT fixed August 3 as the next date of hearing in the case. 

Divisional Forest Officer Charanjeet Singh, who was present there, said the trees couldn’t be felled till next hearing on August 3. 

The petition for impleadment into the case by three local NGOs, Ludhiana Cares, I am NGO and LCLF, was also considered and the same has been posted for hearing on August 3. 

“The case was listed at S. No 41 on the cause list of Principal Bench of the NGT as part of Original Application No. 161/2016 Dr Amandeep Aggarwal vs State of Punjab & Others under which the NGT has strictly banned felling of any tree in the state of Punjab without explicit permission of the NGT,” stated Jaskirat Singh, representative of three NGOs that have filed the petition.

While delivering the original order in 2016, the NGT Bench had made an observation: “There is unscientific removal of trees and huge trees are thrown on the roadside. There is no effort made for transplantation of trees much less of compensatory afforestation.” 

And, the NGT Bench had banned all felling of trees by saying, “We hereby restrain the State of Punjab, any project proponent, various authorities and departments of State of Punjab from felling and cutting of  any tree in the entire State of Punjab without specific permission of the Tribunal.” This information was shared by Dr Amandeep Aggarwal of Sangrur, who had filed the petition against the felling of trees in the state in 2016. 

“Till further orders from the NGT, we propose to move forward with our agenda of tree mapping and tree transplantation with the NHAI and the DFO at the local level,” said Harpreet Soin, one of the residents who are making efforts to save these trees.

 

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