NGT issues show-cause notice to dist collector’s office - Hindustan Times
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NGT issues show-cause notice to dist collector’s office

Apr 22, 2024 05:38 AM IST

The principal bench of NGT has taken a Suo Motu action based on a media report on tree felling at a reserve forest area in Wanowrie for a proposed eco-park

The western bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), an environmental watchdog, has issued a show cause notice to the District Collector’s office for their non-appearance for the hearing regarding tree felling in the Wanowrie area. In the same hearing, the bench also asked the Forest Department to submit an affidavit on permission requirements for tree cutting.

s per the NGT order, the news report mentioned that the Maharashtra Ecotourism Development Board is constructing an eco-tourism park on the reserve forest land in Wanowrie, behind Ruby Hall Clinic. (HT PHOTO)
s per the NGT order, the news report mentioned that the Maharashtra Ecotourism Development Board is constructing an eco-tourism park on the reserve forest land in Wanowrie, behind Ruby Hall Clinic. (HT PHOTO)

The principal bench of NGT has taken a Suo Motu action based on a media report on tree felling at a reserve forest area in Wanowrie for a proposed eco-park. As per the NGT order, the news report mentioned that the Maharashtra Ecotourism Development Board is constructing an eco-tourism park on the reserve forest land in Wanowrie, behind Ruby Hall Clinic. The park will be spread over 4 acres, and as per the allegation of residents, the Board had felled around 100 Gliricidia trees for constructing the park. The residents also alleged that the Forest Department has rampantly cut most of the trees in the vicinity.

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The principal bench after taking Suo motu action has transferred this case to the western bench and asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Maharashtra Forest Department to submit a response on the tree cutting.

The first hearing in this regard was held on April 18, and as per the affidavit submitted by the PCCF, trees, that are cut, are Gliricidia Sepiumis vernacularly known as ‘Undirmari’ and commonly known as Gliricidia, which are invasive kind of species.

There is a provision in the working plan of the Forest Department wherein it is laid down phase-wise and systematically removed/eradicated the Gliricidia Sepium from the forest areas in the Pune Division.

In reply to this affidavit, the bench consisting of the quorum of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, judicial member, and Vijay Kulkarni, expert member, NGT said, “The tribunal would like to receive a clear reply from the side of PCCF concerning the facts as to whether the trees, that are felled, required any prior permission, and in case it was not required, then where is the provision for the same? These facts are not stated by the PCCF, and Therefore, we direct that an additional affidavit be filed in this regard within two weeks.”

Apart from this, the NGT also issued a show-cause notice to the District Collector’s office for not appearing before the court for the hearing. The order mentioned that despite early notification about the hearing, there was none has been authorised to appear from the district Collectorate side before this Tribunal nor has any reply affidavit been ensured to have been filed in the present Original Application.

The order also highlighted that in case none appears on the next date, which is April 26, from their side, The tribunal orders the district collector or the magistrate for a personal appearance before the court.

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