Concerned over delay in compensation to Tsunami victims in Andaman & Nicobar Islands due to Supreme Court's ban on cutting trees in forest land, the Plan panel on Wednesday said the apex court should not pronounce judgements on small pool of resources like a village pond.
Referring to Tsunami waves that sank arable land in Andaman & Nicobar Islands in 2004, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said while the people could have been given compensation in the form of land in forest areas, there was a ban by the Supreme Court.
"When the Tsunami happened (in 2004), the Supreme Court has ... created certain set of rules that you cannot cut trees without getting permission from the Court.
" ... the Andaman islands which bore the brunt of Tsunami experienced erosion of land and certain amount of arable land went under water," Ahluwalia said in a lecture series organised by industry chamber Ficci.
He said the only way these people could be compensated is by giving other land which needs some forestal cut.
"In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, forest cover is 97%, but the Supreme Court pronounced that no tree can be cut," he added.
"There should be distinction between small common pool resources and large common pool resources. A village pond is a small common pool resource. I don't think that Supreme Court should be pronouncing (any judgement) on village ponds," Ahluwalia said.