Home » SC constitutes 7-member panel for suggesting tips on tree felling for growth tasks | India News

SC constitutes 7-member panel for suggesting tips on tree felling for growth tasks | India News

by newsking24

NEW DELHI: To make a sensible evaluation of the financial worth of a tree which must be felled for a growth challenge, the Supreme Court on Thursday constituted a 7-member skilled panel to counsel a set of scientific and coverage tips.
The high court docket mentioned that wherever there’s a have to fell timber for a challenge, the moot query is how a simply and truthful compensation might be calculated by the authority or organisation involved.
A bench of Chief Justice Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian mentioned: “We have no doubt that such compensation should be calculated and paid as a part of the project cost of the project which necessitates the felling of trees and such compensation must be utilized in an expert manner to create a better environment and, most importantly, increase afforestation.
“It is, therefore, imperative to make a realistic assessment of the economic value of a tree, which may be permitted to fell, with reference to its value to environment and its longevity, with regard to factors such as production of oxygen and carbon sequestration, soil conservation, protection of flora/fauna, its role in habitat and ecosystem integrity and any other ecologically relevant factor, distinct from timber/wood”.
It appointed seven-member panel headed by MK Ranjitsinh Jhala, wildlife skilled and former Chairman of the Wildlife Trust of India, Jigmet Takpa, Joint Secretary of MoEFCC as member secretary, Arun Singh Rawat, Director General of Indian Council for Forestry Research, Sandeep Tambe, Gopal Singh Rawat, former Dean and Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Nilanjan Ghosh, Director, Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata and Pradeep Krishen.
The bench mentioned that the committee shall “develop a set of scientific and policy guidelines that shall govern decision making with respect to cutting of trees for developmental projects”.
It mentioned that these tips might specify the species of timber in classes primarily based upon their environmental values contemplating the age and girth of the timber, and so on and supply for particular remedy for geographical space or eco-sensitive space, they could establish areas which have to be regulated and even establish a minimal threshold past which the rules will apply.
“The guidelines shall prescribe a mechanism for assessment of both intrinsic and instrumental value of the trees, based not only on the value of timber, but also the ecosystem services rendered by the trees and its special relevance, if any, to the habitat of other living organisms, soil, flowing and underground water,” the bench mentioned.
It mentioned that the rules framed by the panel shall additionally mandate guidelines concerning alternate routes/websites for roads/tasks, and potentialities for utilizing alternate modes of transport like railways or water-ways.
“The guidelines shall also prescribe the mode of compensation financial and otherwise, the stage of depositing such compensation and the process that governs the computation and recovery. In this regard, the committee may consider the existing regulatory framework regarding calculation of Net Present Value (NPV) and may suggest necessary modification”, it mentioned.
It mentioned that the panel might contemplate the necessity for any everlasting skilled physique and its proposed structural kind and directed the Centre to make sure that all info/statistics vital for the deliberations are made accessible.
It appointed advocate Okay Parameshwar as amicus curiae to help the court docket on all the problems raised within the matter and mentioned that he shall additionally help the committee constituted, on the authorized facets concerned in framing and institutionalising the rules it proposes.
The high court docket listed the matter after 4 weeks.
The bench mentioned, “The right to clean and healthy environment has been recognized as the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Article 48-A imposes duty upon the State to endeavour to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the Country.”
The high court docket was listening to a plea towards felling of over 350 timber for development of railway over bridges (ROB) and widening of National Highway-112 from Barasat to Petrapole on the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
The challenge in West Bengal concerned development of 5 railway bridges over a stretch of six kilometers and the variety of timber to be felled is 306 and the report of the skilled committee constituted earlier had submitted that about 50 timber have already been felled.
A committee of 4 specialists, appointed earlier by the apex court docket, had valued at Rs 220 crore the 300 heritage timber which had been to be chopped for the development of 5 railways over bridges in West Bengal by way of oxygen and different merchandise they provide.
The Calcutta High Court on August 31, 2018, had paved the way in which for widening of the nationwide freeway and allowed felling of over 350 timber for widening of Jessore Road, which connects the town to Petrapole on the Indo-Bangladesh border, on the situation that 5 timber will likely be planted for every tree reduce.
The NH-112 or Jessore Road is a vital hyperlink between India and Bangladesh and the state authorities had undertaken a challenge to widen it. Hundreds of previous timber line each side of the street, a few of which had been determined to be felled for the aim of widening of the street.

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