Tuesday, March 17, 2009

HC gives go-ahead for road-widening work

HC gives go-ahead for road-widening work


Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Monday asked BBMP to proceed with road-widening works as per the stipulations of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act and Karnataka Preservation of Trees rules.
The division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran gave this clarification on a PIL filed by Environmental Support Group and Civic, Bangalore. The petitioners claimed the authorities only wanted to cut trees while widening roads and no tree officers supervised this exercise.
The division Bench had earlier issued notices to Union forest, roadways, and urban development ministries as well as state forest, home, urban development departments apart from BBMP, BDA, BMLTA and BMRCL in this matter.
“Road-widening programme, being undertaken in some city roads like Bellary Road, M G Road, Palace Road and Race Course Road, are not following legal norms as required under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act as well as Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act. Only widening of roads would not decongest traffic as such. The tree patta scheme should be extended to urban areas and necessary guidelines for greening urban space and landscape is necessary,” the petitioners said.
The issue was referred to Lok Adalat which formed an expert committee and directed authorities to take the permission of its committee before cutting trees. But this is delaying work, Government and BBMP told the court. The issue was returned to the Chief Justice.
Karnataka Tree
Preservation Act,
Safeguarding trees
The Town and Country Planning Act — (Chapter 5) calls for due course of public consultation at the local level and formulation of a scheme in conformance with the comprehensive development plan — Plan a scheme, make it public, take objections from affected public and draft a final scheme to be then approved for budget and then ready for implementation.
Section 8(2), 8(5)
Where permission to fell a tree is granted, the tree officer may grant it subject to condition that applicant shall plant another tree or trees of the same or any other suitable species of the same size or other suitable place within 30 days from the date, the tree is felled. But, the application for felling a tree must be accompanied by a site plan or survey sketch specifying clearly the site or survey number, the numbers, kind and girth of the tree sought to be cut.


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