CJI calls for curbing felling of heritage trees

CJI calls for curbing felling of heritage trees

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on Thursday said the importance of heritage trees is invaluable, as we do not take into consideration the oxygen the tree has produced throughout its lifecycle.

The observation from the Chief Justice came during the hearing of a petition opposing felling of hundreds of heritage trees by the West Bengal government near Kolkata and Bangladesh border for the construction of railway overbridge.

Chief Justice Bobde said, “When you cut a heritage tree, look at the value of the oxygen the tree produced all these years. Then try to compare it to how much you would have to pay if you were to have to buy it from somewhere.”

The Chief Justice also added that tress should not be cut for economic considerations,

“The idea of economics of cutting the tree, and if there is a delay, then we look at the cost attached to this delay in the execution of the project.”

He observed this case presents the usual dilemma between environmental degradation and development.

The apex court ordered constitution of a four-member committee comprising three independent specialists and a government representative, to explore alternatives for the project. The committee will report back on the issue to the top court after five weeks.

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