Trees in KBR walkway cannot be axed till ESZ is declared. Hyderabad citizens inform State!
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Subject: Incorrect interpretation of the Judgement passed by the National Green Tribunal, resulting in confusion and spread of wrong information through newspaper articles regarding tree felling in the KBR walkway.
We write to you with reference to the above-mentioned news articles which were published in Deccan Chronicle on Sept.11, 2017 and Indian Express on Sept19, 2017 regarding the cutting of trees at HMDA Walkway for the purpose of SRDP*.
These articles have given us to understand that your good office has directed the "felling of trees" since the said permission was granted by the National Wildlife Board and Tree Protection Committee. However, we would like to bring to your notice that as per the operative portion of the judgment dated 24.05.2017 passed by the National Green Tribunal in O. A. No. 106 of 2016 states that:
"… The 3rd Respondent, project proponent, in our considered view and in all fairness shall wait till a final decision is taken in this regard by the MoEF & CC and then proceed. This is relevant because if ultimately the MoEF & CC decides and declares 25 to 35 m width ESZ, obviously the project proponent may have to obtain clearance from the Standing Committee of the NBWL for construction of flyovers. Even in respect of cutting/translocation of trees the same can be proceeded with only if the MoEF & CC agrees with the proposal of the State Government to make ‘zero’ m width ESZ"
From the above, it is clear that unless the ESZ** is declared by the MoEF & CC*** any work in relation to the SRDP project cannot commence near the KBR National Park. This observation has been made by the Hon'ble Tribunal to ensure that if the activity happens within the ESZ (only if declared), then appropriate clearances can be obtained.
As you are aware of the fact that declaration of ESZ is sub-judice before MoEF & CC. Any act of either construction or cutting/translocating the trees would amount to "Contempt of the Court orders".
As these news articles were alarming to all the concerned citizens of Hyderabad. We had no other option but to approach your office to seek your intervention to ensure that the orders of the Hon'ble Tribunal is abided by in true letter and spirit.
We request you to also issue an immediate clarification on this subject matter to assuage the concerns of the citizens of our city.
Citizens of Hyderabad/India.
*SRDP: Strategic Road Development Plan
**ESZ: Eco-Sensitive Zone
***MOEF & CC: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
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