News Karnataka
Tuesday, November 29 2022

Uttarakhand Forest Secy to monitor restoration after road construction

NGT issues notice to Jal Shakti Ministry on potable water contamination
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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed Uttarakhand’s Principal Secretary, Forest, to monitor the restoration plan of environmental violations during construction of the Kotila-Gawad-Suraikhet road in the state’s Almora district.

The NGT principal bench, headed by Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (retd), was dealing with an application alleging a large number of felling of trees during the road construction by the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation through the Kaira Construction Firm.

Considering the violations in the light of a report, the bench directed the Forest Department to follow up monitoring of restoration action atleast once a month till satisfactory compliance.

Action taken may include plantation against trees cut, restoration of water sources, scientific muck disposal at identified sites, and recovery of environmental compensation from violators, for restoration works, the order dated February 25 said.

The matter was last considered on August 5, 2021, in the light of a report of the Forest Department, Uttarakhand dated July 30, 2021, acknowledging violations without adequate remedial action.

The report noted violations include illegal cutting of trees, construction of the road without permission, construction in forest area beyond the sanctioned area, and dumping of muck on reserved forest without requisite sanction.

The order also stated that it is evident from the replies of then-assistant Engineer and Upper Assistant Engineer, that single road cutting (3-meter width) was done in reserved forest area and muck generated was dumped along the roadside which eventually proposed to disposed at designated dumpsites. Some part of stored muck along the roadside may have come down due to specific hilly terrains and rains, it said.

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