Implant radio-frequency identification tags on all trees in Shimla: Himachal HC
The court observed that illegal felling of trees is being carried on unabatedly by certain unidentified persons within the municipal limits of Shimla town.india Updated: Oct 27, 2017 21:06 IST
Aimed at checking illegal felling of trees, Himachal Pradesh high court on Friday directed the state government to ensure every tree within Shimla municipal corporation limits is implanted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.
A division bench comprising justice Sanjay Karol and justice Ajay Mohan Goel passed these orders on a public interest litigation (PIL). The bench observed, “It appears that despite several orders passed by this court, illicit felling of trees is being carried on unabatedly by certain unidentified persons within the municipal limits of Shimla town.”
Devan Khanna, the amicus curiae in this case reported that even though not much illicit felling of trees is carried out on government land, it is rampant on private land. “The modus operandi adopted by the land owners, though barbaric, yields the desired results. Firstly the tree is dried up by pouring acid in its roots and then felled, either by obtaining sanction in accordance with law – for felling of dried trees permissions are granted – or by adopting illegal means, more so during the monsoon/winter season, so as to make it appear that it is on account of natural calamity”.
The court observed, “We are of the considered view that the state or Shimla MC must ensure that every tree, be of whatever species, falling within the municipal limits of Shimla town, apart from being numbered, must be tagged with the RFID tags.”
‘Perhaps the MC can ask the owners of the private land to incur the cost for procurement and installation of such tags on the trees standing on private land. The protection of the environment is a constitutional duty. Right to Life includes right to live in a healthy environment, which the plants provide,’ the order reads.