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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 July 2024

Calcutta High Court dismisses petition against felling of trees in Maidan area for metro construction

RVNL is the executing agency of the Joka-Esplanade corridor, now functional between Joka and Majerhat

Tapas Ghosh, Debraj Mitra Calcutta Published 21.06.24, 06:25 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

A division bench of Calcutta High Court dismissed a petition against the felling of trees in the Maidan area for the upcoming Joka-Esplanade Metro on Thursday.

“We are fully convinced that the requisite permission has been obtained by RVNL (Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd) for the purpose of transplantation/felling of trees and those permissions cannot be stated to be either arbitrary or unreasonable,” the division bench, comprising Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya, observed in its verdict.

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While referring to an affidavit submitted by the deputy conservator of forest, the division bench held the RVNL had followed all the norms regarding the felling of Maidan trees or their transplantation.

The RVNL is the executing agency of the Joka-Esplanade corridor, now functional between Joka and Majerhat.

The official, in the affidavit, cited nine specific rules that were to be followed.

“The petition is dismissed,” the chief justice said in court.

The PIL was filed by the NGO People United for Better Living in Calcutta (PUBLIC). The petition argues that the construction of a new Metro station in the Maidan area will forever ruin the greens, considered the city’s lungs.

“The decision to set up a Metro station on Maidan, adjoining the Victoria Memorial, has been taken without relying on any study on the benefits that will flow from the station’s location,” the petition said.

“We are more surprised than disappointed. The issue of the alternative route needs assessment by experts, as prayed in our petition, even if the section between Joka and Majerhat has started. Precisely, the stretch between Majerhat and Esplanade is where the devastation of the Maidan will happen,” Pradeep Kakkar, a founder-member of
PUBLIC, said.

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