NGT asks govt. to set up specialised cell on forest cover

October 13, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:45 am IST - JODHPUR:

The National Green Tribunal on Monday asked the government to set up a specialised cell in the Forest Department to undertake tree or plant translocation and suggested setting up of a Geo Information System (GIS) Cell in Rajasthan for monitoring of forest cover alongside roads.

Giving the order for putting in place a specialised cell with expertise, the NGT’s central zone Bench said, “We would expect that infrastructure for translocation of trees, which have taken years to grow and benefit the environment and are also essential looking to the present concerns of climate change etc.”

It sought a reply from the government on next hearing on November 16 while hearing a petition moved by an environmentalist Babulal Jaju who contended that there is negligence in carrying out avenue plantation along the highway projects.

The Bench, headed by Justice Dalip Singh, also asked the state government to seriously consider setting up of a Geo Information System (GIS) Cell for monitoring of the road/depletion of forest and green cover in the state.

The Bench reiterated the need of GIS Cell in light of huge difference between the data provided by the officials and the reality about the forest and green cover stating that “the reliance on the physical verification and data submission about forest and green cover by the officials related to the forest and green cover was non-conducive”.

On the argument of the Indian Road Congress about the non-availability of the land along the roads for avenue plantation, the Bench said provisions could be made for the same like in acquiring or setting apart the land for the projects.

“Similar provisions need to be incorporated in the case of avenue plantation and road side forestry also so that there is neither the land issue nor any delay in carrying out such plantation work,” the Bench observed. - PTI

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