New Delhi [India], Feb 18 (ANI): Raising concern on the rapid deforestation in the country, the Supreme Court on Tuesday remarked that "green cover must be preserved".
Deforestation is so rapid that before anybody knows everything will be lost, a bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde said while hearing a plea filed by Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) on felling of over 350 trees for the construction of railway over bridges (ROB) and widening of National Highway-112 from Barasat to Petrapole on the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
The court said that green cover must be preserved and people are not willing to explore alternatives. "There could be a way to create a path without cutting trees. It might be a little more expensive, but if you value the property, it would be better," the bench added.
During the hearing, the court observed, "We would like to see if we can lay down some principles or some suggestions. The deterioration is so rapid that before anybody knows many things will be permanently gone."
"Address us on what is to be done, this is the 3rd-4th case I am hearing... Bombay metro shed, coastal road etc," Chief Justice Bobde said.
During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner APDR said environment/climate may take a turn for the very worse in another 50 years.
Chief Justice Bobde, agreeing with Bhushan's contention said: "It is believable, very believable."
The bench then adjourned the matter for four weeks.
Bhushan said that no alternatives were explored and permission was granted to fell the trees, which are heritage ones aged around 80-100 years, adding that everyone knows about global warming and there is a study which says if the vegetation is not protected then in next 10-20 years the human species will be in danger.
Underpasses could be constructed instead of railway over bridges and alignment of roads could be changed to avoid cutting of trees, Bhushan contended.
West Bengal government said that Calcutta High Court had gone into all the aspects after which it granted permission to fell 356 trees, which is required for the construction of ROBs and widening of the road. (ANI)