CHENNAI: The Madras High Court had ordered the state government not to axe down the decades-old tamarind trees located alongside the highways in Mallur, Salem district for the proposed construction of a new bus stand/bus stop in the outskirts of the city.
Justice GR Swaminathan passed the direction on hearing a petition filed by S Ranjith, a resident of Mallur in Salem.
The petitioner who claims to be the district level office bearer of filmmaker Seeman’s Naam Tamilar Katchi prayed for a direction to quash the decision of the authorities dated March 28 to build a new bus stop in Mallur after cutting down seven tamarind trees which are being there for several decades.
“The petitioner contends that the new bus stand project could be implemented even without cutting off those seven tamarind trees. Therefore, the respondents including the district collector are directed to file a detailed counter. There shall be an interim injunction directing the Salem revenue divisional officer not to grant any permission to cut down seven tamarind trees, pending disposal of this writ petition,” Justice Swaminathan held.
The petitioner alleged that executive officer, Mallur panchayat sent a communication on March 28 stating that a proposal has been made to construct a bus stand in Mallur and requested the highways department’s divisional and assistant divisional engineers to cut down the seven tamarind trees situated in the sides of highways at Mallur.
“On receiving that communication, the highways department on April 13 had written to the revenue divisional officer to grant permission to cut off the tamarind trees. No bus stand/bus stop is required at the concerned place as all the heavy vehicles, transports are using an outer bypass. Already, a 100-year-old tree has been illegally cut off and a complaint has been made in this connection with the police,” the petitioner added.