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Egmore rly expansion: 12 saplings to replace every tree cut-down

Egmore rly expansion: 12 saplings to replace every tree cut-down

Madras High Court (File)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday ordered the Southern Railway to replace 12 tree saplings for each tree that is cut down during the Egmore Railway Station expansion project.

The court has given permission to the petitioner to approach the court if the trees were not replaced properly.

The petitioner, Arul, secretary of Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation, a non-governmental organization, approached the Madras High Court (MHC) seeking to restrain the southern railway from cutting down the trees for the Egmore railway station expansion project. The plea was listed before a division bench comprising Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice PD Audikesavalu.

"I was shocked and dismayed that more than 400 trees had to be cut for the expansion of Chennai Egmore Railway station and several trees were cut down including 50-80 old trees which were protected by the government," mentioned the petitioner.

The State Green Committee, the district green committee, and the tree authority are silent and they have failed to take appropriate actions to stop cutting of the trees under the urban areas preservation of Trees Act, said the petitioner.

On the counter, the additional solicitor general ARL Sundaresan who appeared on behalf of the Southern Railway said that after getting permission from the state government the tree-cutting process has been initiated and the conditions will be followed while cutting the trees.

Subsequently, the government pleader Muthukumar said that the district green committee has considered the project and gave permission to cut down the trees earlier.

After the submissions, the bench directed the district green committee to monitor the tree-cutting process, and it also directed the southern railway to submit the report regarding the rules that have been followed in the due process, ruled the bench.

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