HC stays felling of eucalyptus trees for installing plane at park

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday restrained the authorities from felling the remaining eucalyptus trees, not protected under the provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, at National Military Memorial Park near Raj Bhavan for installing a MiG fighter plane.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma passed the interim order on an application during the hearing of a PIL, filed by Bangalore Environment Trust and Dattareya Devare, related to felling of trees for metro and road widening projects in the city. An affidavit of Vijay Nishanth of Project Vruksha Foundation was produced before the Bench on felling of eucalyptus trees inside NMM Park.

Though the trust authorities managing the park had initially sought permission from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike seeking permission to cut 120 eucalyptus tees, they later cut several of them on the ground that provisions of the KPT Act exempts from seeking permission for felling certain categories of trees, including eucalyptus trees.

The Bench passed the interim order as it is examining the issue on whether public authorities can mechanically fell the trees, exempted from the provisions of KPT Act, without seeking a view from experts though law permits felling sans seeking permission from the Tree Authority.

Meanwhile, the State government, in response to the Court’s earlier queries said that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. is not required to take permission for felling over 800 trees as KPT itself does not contemplate such permission.

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Sagar Biswas

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