There are only 85,000 trees in Indore and the National Green Tribunal, central zone branch, has asked the authorities to 'introspect with regard to the claims that have been made by all the concerned regarding the large scale planting of trees and see the factual position which has been brought out before this tribunal regarding the trees existing in the city of Indore.'
The tribunal also suggested that Indore should have 30 percent of green cover.
The tree survey was carried out on orders of the green tribunal following a petition by social activist Kishore Kodwani, Dinesh Rawat and Pawan Khetka, in which they had alleged large scale cutting of trees in the district.
In the order, judicial member Justice Dalip Singh and expert member PS Rao noted to a large extent these existing trees have been planted by individuals and household owners, and agreed with the petitioner’s contention that claim of the authorities that they had planted lakhs of trees over the years, for which they spend crores, was bogus.
The tribunal also directed that it was essential for various agencies for seeking prior permission for cutting of trees.
The tree officer concerned has been directed to evaluate the need for cutting of the trees and whether there is any option available by way of alternative to carry out the project without cutting of such trees. The development agencies were also asked to look into translocation of trees.
The tribunal order said, "State government would issue directions to all the tree officers that while considering the request to cutting of trees, they shall examine the possibility of translocation and make in mandatory."
The district collector, Indore, has been asked to periodically review the steps taken by various agencies like the forest department, municipal corporation and IDA with regard to carrying out plantation work see how the trees are actually surviving, especially during the summer months.
The tribunal informed that 33 trees will be translocated and 93 trees would be cut for the expansion of the airport-super corridor road. Around 630 saplings would be planted as compensation for the trees being cut.