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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday noticed that it might think about laying down a protocol to be adopted for tasks like street widening which require reducing of timber so that there’s minimal harm to the atmosphere.
The apex court docket additionally stated it didn’t think about it tenable that if street is lower than 100 km then Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) isn’t vital.
The observations got here whereas listening to a plea relating felling of over 350 timber for building of railway over bridges (ROB) and widening of National Highway-112 from Barasat to Petrapole on the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde stated the protocol would ensure that options adopted for the challenge are much less damaging to the atmosphere.
A four-member committee constituted by the highest court docket knowledgeable it that earlier than implementing a challenge of nationwide significance environmental impression evaluation is desired and this has not been achieved within the challenge into account.
The committee stated that the State authorities are contemplating challenge into account as an unbiased challenge which is affecting a distance of 59.2 km solely.
“According to a round issued by MoEF, if a street challenge have size lower than 100 km, in that case there isn’t any must get EIA from any authorities company. Such argument, in current case, is an try to bypass the regulation of the land.
“We really feel deriving such conclusion is faulty and wishes rethinking on the a part of the state of the West Bengal.. According to the committee members EIA must be taken up earlier than beginning the challenge associated work,” the panel stated.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, showing for the petitioner, referred to the MoEF notification and stated that in Char Dham challenge roads have been divided in smaller segments with a purpose to keep away from EIA.
The court docket stated,” Prima facie, we do not think about it tenable that if street is lower than 100 km then EIA isn’t necesaary. The entire atmosphere is our land of everyone. There is not any query of this authorities and that authorities.”
The bench has now posted the matter for listening to on February 18.
The apex court docket had earlier fashioned a committee of atmosphere specialists to recommend an alternative choice to felling of over 350 timber for building of railway over bridges (ROB) and widening of National Highway-112 from Barasat to Petrapole on the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
The five-member committee is headed by Dr Soham Pandya of the Centre of Science For Village, Wardha.
Bhushan, showing for petitioner Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) had earlier stated that no options have been explored and permission was granted to fell the timber, that are heritage ones aged round 80-100 years.
He had stated everybody is aware of about international warming and there’s research which says if the vegetation isn’t protected then in subsequent 10-20 years the human species will probably be at risk.
The Calcutta excessive court docket on August 31, 2018, had paved the best way for widening of the nationwide freeway and allowed felling of over 350 timber for widening of Jessore Road, which connects the town to Petrapole on the Indo-Bangladesh border, on the situation that 5 timber will probably be planted for every tree reduce.
The NH-112 or Jessore Road is a crucial hyperlink between India and Bangladesh and the state authorities had undertaken a challenge to widen it. Hundreds of outdated timber line each side of the street, a few of which have been determined to be felled for the aim of widening of the street.
A PIL was moved earlier than the excessive court docket difficult the state”s plan to fell the timber. After arguments for a number of months, the excessive court docket allowed felling of 356 timber at 5 locations from Barasat to Petrapole border alongside the Jessore Road.

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