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National Green Tribunal directs Himachal Pradesh to consider desirability of initiating proposal for enactment of appropriate legislation for protection of trees

The National Green Tribunal directed the  State of Himachal Pradesh  to consider the desirability of initiating proposal for enactment of appropriate legislation for protection of trees in rural areas also as may be considered appropriate.
The Bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and Dr. Afroz Ahmad heard an application filed with the  grievance regarding illegal pruning of all branches of 200 fruit bearing mango trees standing on DaulatpurGagret Guglehad road done by PWD through a contractor without obtaining requisite permission from the Forest Department and without any tender or work order in violation of protective prohibition order passed by  High Court of Himachal Pradesh.

In compliance with the order dated 04.11.2022  IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Una, HP,  Superintending Engineer and IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Una have appeared through VC and NGT have interacted with them.   

In the present case , from  the report of the Joint Committee and replies filed , the NGT noted the illegal pruning of a large number of mango trees in violation of the environmental norms. 
It has been stated that the enactment by the State of Himachal Pradesh covers protection of trees within Municipal areas only. 
“Respondents no. 1 and 2 are directed to consider desirability of initiating proposal for enactment of appropriate legislation for protection of trees in rural areas also as may be considered appropriate.”
In the meanwhile the Bench directed that the  steps be taken for issuance of Government order/administrative instructions prescribing the norms regarding pruning of trees in municipal as well as rural areas. Action taken report along with the copies of the Government orders/administrative instructions so issued may be filed before the Tribunal.   

Further the Tribunal directed the Respondents to file their reports regarding present status of each of the mango trees illegally pruned and also regarding assessment, in monetary terms, of the damage caused by the illegal pruning of mango trees.
The matter is listed for further consideration on 20.07.2023.

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