HC appreciates media for supporting the cause

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday informed the Madras High Court Bench here that it had planted 6,242 saplings on the highways within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bench in just seven days from February 15.

After recording the submission, a Division Bench of Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani directed the NHAI to make sure that the saplings were watered regularly. The officials were also ordered to continue the plantation work without a break until the onset of the monsoon.

Passing interim orders on a public interest litigation petition on February 6, a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K. Agnihotri and Justice R. Sudhakar had directed the NHAI to plant 10 saplings for every tree cut by it to widen the highways from two to four lanes.

The officials were also ordered to begin the plantation work from February 15 and file periodical reports before the court. Accordingly, C. Arulvadivel, counsel for the NHAI’s Project Implementation Units (PIUs) in Madurai, Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Karur, submitted a report on Monday.

He said species such as neem, palm, coconut, gulmohar, teak, cashewnut, mango, tamarind, fig, jackfruit, Ashoka, red sandal, mahogani and banyan had been planted on both sides of the highways falling within the five PIUs.

The counsel also told the court that the Women Advocates’ Association in the High Court Bench had come forward to plant saplings on a stretch of about 10 kilometres and also maintain them. The planting work would start from International Women’s Day on March 8.

Lauding the initiative, the Division Bench recorded its appreciation for other lawyers who had volunteered to monitor the planting work and the media for having supported the cause. It also directed the High Court Registry to list the case on the first working day of every month starting from April 1.

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