The green crusader of the state has saved six trees from being cut down to expand the high court building.
Enforcing green regulations, the State-level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC), a technical wing of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Bihar, saved the trees. Initially, the plan was to axe 11 trees for the expansion of the high court building. After the panel’s objection, five trees would be cut.
The plan for the extension of the high court was conceptualised in 2010, following shortage of courtrooms. Of the 11 trees shortlisted for hacking for the construction purpose, a few were estimated to be over 100 years old. They cannot be easily replaced with substitute saplings. Taking this into count, the state building construction department agreed to reduce the number of trees to be felled to five after the SEAC forwarded the project to SEIAA for a final decision.
“The initial design for the expansion of the high court building required five trees to be cut on the driveway between the two new blocks. But the committee members observed that since the trees do not fall in the area of the new construction and most of them are around 100 years old, there was no need to cut them,” said a SEAC member.
A building department official said: “We had initially proposed to cut 11 trees to construct the extension building but the SEAC asked us not to chop down the trees that do not fall in the area of the new building. We revised the proposal and reduced the number of trees to be cut to five.”
“Of the six trees saved, the diameter of the trunk of a peepal tree was found to be around 9m. The age of such a tree cannot be less than 100 years. Hence, we did not agree to its cutting and allowed felling of only the remaining five,” said Sunil Kumar Chaudhary, the chairperson of the SEAC.
Gopal Singh, the district forest officer, said a proposal for felling of trees at the proposed site of the extension building of the high court is under consideration. According to environment laws, a person, agency or government has to plant thrice the number of trees cut.