Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Madhya Pradesh HC to state govt: How many trees will be cut, planted for Jabalpur road?

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafique and Justice Sanjay Dwivedi has heard the Petition filed by environmental activist Nikita Khamparia

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday asked the state government how many trees will be cut and how many will be planted for Dumna Road in Jabalpur.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sanjay Dwivedi has heard the petition filed by environmental activist Nikita Khamparia, a resident of Ganganagar Colony of Jabalpur, through advocate Shreyas Pandit on the issue of trees being cut for construction of a four-lane road from Rani Durgavati University to Dumna Airport .

In compliance of the order dated 06.01.2021 of the High Court, five alternate routes have been introduced by the state government to go to Dumna. The first route is 12 km from Empire Talkies via Rani Durgavati University, the second route is 16.3 km from Empire Talkies via Pantinaka, Gorabazar, Bhita, third route is 16.10 km via Empire Talkies, Chunginaka, Satpula, Ranjhi, Khamaria, Pipariya. The fourth route is Empire Talkies, Chungi Naka, Ranjhi, Khamaria, Pipariya, Umaria, Amjhar Valley, Kakratla, Dumna 30.5 km and the fifth route from Empire Talkies, Chungi Naka, Ranjhi, is already 18.60 km from Old Khamaria police station, but this report is not acceptable for several reasons.

“A committee comprising the representatives of the Forest Department, Municipal Corporation, Public Works Department, Town and Country Planning and the representative of the Collector (SDM, Revenue, Ranjhi) proposed and found the option No.1 suitable for constructing road from Empire Talkies to Dumna Airport for a length of 12 km where half the trees have already been cut and remaining 300 trees are to be cut further. All other four alternate roads are having greater length, requiring uprooting of larger number of trees,” the court stated.

The Court granted time to the Advocate General “to file an affidavit of the Secretary, Public Works Department on or before the next date of hearing undertaking to plant 20 times of total number of trees uprooted, indicating which trees would be planted, what is the rate of their survival, how much time such proposed trees would take to grow and how would their survival be ensured.” The next hearing will be on February 25.

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