Himachal HC stays Green Tribunal orders on felling trees

Shimla, Dec 23 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday stayed all of the National Green Tribunal’s orders relating to felling of trees for four-laning of National Highway-22 linking Parwanoo with the state ca[ital.

A division bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia passed these orders on a petition of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Issuing notice to the state and the central governments, the high court directed them to file reply within eight weeks.

The NHAI has challenged the suo moto orders passed by the tribunal whereby it had directed the state to file an affidavit, stating how many trees they have between Solan and Parwanoo and aslo directed that no further trees would be cut in excess of the permission granted.

The petitioner said on May 16, 2007, an environment clearance was granted to the project by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

In June this year, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari laid foundation stones of three mega road projects worth Rs 2,655 crore on the 89-km-long Parwanoo-Shimla highway.