: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday asked the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to plant saplings ten- fold the number of trees it felled for laying an electric line.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K. Vinod Chandran issued the directive on a petition filed by K.S .Rajesh Kumar of Nilambur against the decision to fell 200 trees for laying 33 kV line between Perumpilavu and Nilambur road by shifting an existing line. The petitioner submitted that the removal of trees would cause serious environment impact and loss to the general public. The attempt of the authorities was to help some private persons

The KSEB said only 26 trees would be cut for facilitating the laying of the line and the allegation of the petitioner was not true. It was also ready to plant 260 new saplings in lieu of the 26 trees cut and removed. The court ordered that this should be done under the supervision of Social Forestry officials.