Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal felling of trees at at Chak Ganjaria Farm at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, 01/11/2018
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of We the People Vs Union of India & Others dated 01/11/2018 regarding illegal felling of trees at at Chak Ganjaria Farm at Lucknow where a Hightech City has been developed by the State of Uttar Pradesh. The report of the Remote Sensing Applications Centre (RSAC), Department of Science and Technology, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh dated 13.10.2018 shows that under ‘Vegetative Cover’ sub-category ‘Tree Cover Density 40% to 70%’, the area was 0.684 hectares in the year 2012, which became zero in the year 2017. Further under the heading ‘B’ ‘Non- Vegetative Cover’ shows the built up area in 2012 was 0.147 hectares which increased to 7.266 hectares in the year 2017 which indicates increase in the Non-Vegetative Cover i.e. Built-up/Under Construction/Infrastructure.
Court notes that there has been damage to the forest without due process of law. Counsel for the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) has stated that 7,944 tress were felled after permission and amount of Rs. 96 Lakhs was deposited towards the cost of the trees but this does not cover illegally felled trees.
Adopting Precautionary Principle as well as Polluter Pays Principle, Nationl Green Tribunal directs the State Forest Department of Uttar Pradesh to undertake Compensatory Afforestation on 500 hectares. Also the State of Uttar Pradesh has been asked to deposit a sum of Rs. 5 crores towards the loss of the ecological services, with the Central Pollution Control Board, to be utilized as a part of Environment Restitution Fund.