The Madras High Court bench here has stayed the tender notification that allowed cutting around 445 trees in two temples in Tanjore district.
To cut 445 trees
Petitioner V.G. Ponnuchamy, from Mulaiyur in Tanjore district, claimed in his public interest writ petition that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department issued a notification to the public on March 18, 2013 calling for tender to cut around 445 trees belonging to Arulmigu Parasunathaswamy temple and Arulmigu Thenupureswarar temple.
“The State government has been taking several steps to plant saplings in order to prevent global warming. The Commissioner of the HR and CE department issued the notice without giving reasonable opportunity for the public to express their views”, he contended.
According to Mr Ponnuchamy, the main source of income for the temples was to auction the yields of the mango, coconut, jack-fruit and other trees in the temple premises. The trees provide shelter to the devotees who visit the temple from all over the nation, he said.
The government pleader told the court on Thursday that the tender was already awarded following an auction on Wednesday. Justices Chitra Venkataraman and S. Vimala stayed further proceedings of the auction, restraining the person who won the auction from cutting the trees until further orders. The division bench ordered notice to the HR and CE department and the executive officers of the two temples and adjourned the case by two weeks.