Court notice for failure to replace cut trees in Kutch

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GANDHINAGAR - Gujarat High Court has issued notice to the forest head of Kutch district after a writ petition alleged that thousands of trees cut by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) while laying down a petroleum pipeline were not replaced.

The trees were annihilated in 36 months while laying down a 1,056-km-long petroleum pipeline between Mundra Port and Delhi at a cost of Rs.1,757 crore. The pipeline was dedicated to the nation in February 2009.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya issued notice to the forest officer after Laxmiben, a sarpanch of a village in Kutch, approached the high court.

The court said that from the record it was evident that HPCL deposited Rs.93.60 lakh with divisional/district forest officer of Kutch but no tree planting has been done even after the receipt of the amount.

In the notice issued Tuesday - but made available Wednesday, the court said that according to the government guidelines, the project authorities have to plant minimum 10 trees for every tree cut.

The matter has been posted for Oct 14.

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