No tree to be cut for defence exhibition: UP govt to SC

No tree to be cut for defence exhibition: UP govt to SC

The Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it is not looking at cutting 64,000 trees in Lucknow for holding a defence exhibition.

The top court asked an activist seeking direction to the Centre and the UP government not to damage, fell, uproot or cut down the trees to approach Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said the high court is seized of a similar matter and the petitioner is at liberty to approach it.

The top court also recorded the statement of senior advocate Ravinder Raizada and advocate Rajeev Dubey, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, that till now neither a single tree has been cut and nor there is any plan to cut any tree for the scheduled defence expo.

On December 18, the top court had sought response from Uttar Pradesh government on a plea by activist Sheela Barse, who said that cutting of huge number of trees is an "inter generational injustice which must be stopped forever".

She said that as per reports, the UP government is planning to remove 64,000 trees in Lucknow for holding the defence expo and it wants the area to be completely cleared by January 15, 2020 so that the land can be handed over to the organisers.

"Unmindful felling of trees is devastating to the nature, it is against inter-generational equity and against the right to life and existence of not just humans but other living beings including trees and the entire living beings dependent on such vegetation," her plea said.

She sought declaration of the inter-generational equity rights of trees and to recognise trees as living entities entitled to rights.

The 11th biennial edition of DefExpo India-2020 is scheduled to be held next month for the first time in Lucknow.

The plea referred to media reports which said that a proposal has been made for displacing 64,000 trees on the banks of river Gomti for DefExpo-2020. 

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