The court has ruled that the felling process be initiated in next 15 days and has asked the Forest Department to take the help of the National Highways Authority of India for felling equipments.
Nagpur: The Wild-life conservations activists and organizations are quick to point out how humans are encroaching on the forests causing man-animal conflict. They oppose almost all the developmental activities like road-laying, cutting trees to enable road widening etc.
In a significant judgement, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court have given approval for the expansion of National Highway-7 (NH7) in Maharashtra which will involve the felling of 23830 trees in a zone which is considered to be India’s finest Tiger Corridor.
While ruling, the Bench headed by Judges B. Gavai and Indira Jain are reported to have said that, “You should not just think about animals and environment, think about humans too. The court is ready to implement measures to take care of animals also, they ruled”.
Stating that the conditions of road was a hassle for commuters, the court directed the two petitioners Srushti Paryavaran Mandal and Conservation Action Trust to come up with measures to make roads safe for Tigers with the help of experts.
“Tell us how we can make the roads safe for animals. If you think 50 meter underpasses are not sufficient, tell us how much is, we will make them 75 meters. We have consulted the best practices followed in United States”, said the judges.
The court has ruled that the felling process to be initiated in next 15 days and has asked the Forest Department to take the help of the National Highways Authority of India for felling equipments.
During the proceedings, the court also rapped the petitioners for pursuing cases with the National Green Tribunal simultaneously. The ruling of the High Court has been opposed to the NGT order that had extended the stay on felling in the tiger corridor till July 27, 2015.
As per the Forest Department, 1,10,000 trees will be planted in South Umred range as compensatory afforestation.