NGT aghast at cutting of trees for Yettinahole

NGT aghast at cutting of trees for Yettinahole

The National Green Tribunal, Delhi, has taken the Karnataka Neeravari Nigama Limited (KNNL) to task for felling a large number of trees at the Yettinahole project site. 

The Tribunal observed that the move by KNNL will adversely affect the sensitive Western Ghats region. The bench has directed KNNL to count the felled trees and plant 10 times the number of trees axed. The KNNL has not obtained permission from the Forest department before felling the trees, the bench observed.

During the proceedings held on Monday, advocate Prince Isac - on behalf of complainant Somashekar - submitted to the principal bench headed by Justice Swathanterkumar that large trees are being felled in the project area inordinately, by the user agency and the contractors. The same has caused heavy damage to the ecologically sensitive area of Western Ghats. Isac pointed out that an FIR had been registered against KNNL, which indicated that due permission was not obtained.

The bench took serious note of the illegal felling of trees and directed that there shall be no cutting of trees in the total project area. The bench directed the counsel for KNNL to find out the total number of trees felled in the project area so far. It directed that 10 times the number of trees cut be planted and the same be reported to the Tribunal by the next hearing. The bench asked the counsel as to who authorised them to fell the trees without permission.

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