Green tribunal restrains cutting of trees in Govardhan

Green tribunal restrains cutting of trees in Govardhan

Green tribunal restrains cutting of trees in Govardhan

The National Green Tribunal today restrained the Uttar Pradesh government from cutting trees in the pilgrimage town of Govardhan in Mathura district.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to the Chief Forest Conservator of Forests of Agra range, Public Works Department of Mathura, U P Pollution Control Board and the Divisional Commissioner of Agra range, seeking their replies by September 27.

"Notice to all non-applicants. Returnable on September 27... We restrain respondents from felling/cutting trees till next date of hearing," the bench said.

The order came on the plea of Mathura-based organisation Giriraj Parikrama Sanrakshan Sansthan, which sought revoking of the conditional clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forest for non-forest use of 3.9 hectare reserved forest land in Govardhan for widening of a mud road at the pilgrimage site.

Advocate M C Mehta assisted by advocate Rahul Shukla, who appeared for the petitioner, argued that the conditional clearance did not permit cutting of trees and submitted that the road can be widened without felling trees.

The petition filed by the organisation raised the issue of civic authorities discharging sewage and municipal waste into the ponds and other water bodies in Govardhan which is causing water pollution.

It alleged that public sanitation in Govardhan is inadequate with trash collecting at temples and kunds due to the large number of pilgrims and absence of a scientific system of garbage collection and disposal.

The petition also seeks directions to the authorities to "take immediate action for removal of encroachments and encroachers from the parikrama marg, public land, the reserved forest land, the kunds and water bodies in Govardhan".