The National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore directed Bhopal Smart City Corporation, to maintain a status quo on the construction works which involves cutting of more than 6,000 trees in Tatya Tope (TT) Nagar.
The NGT bench said, “It has been contended by the applicant’s counsel that in the map attached to the Environmental Impact Assessment report, TT Nagar Stadium and Dussehra Maidan have been included as areas for development of green belt. In the meanwhile, we direct the parties to maintain the status quo as it exists today.”
The direction came while the green panel was hearing a petition filed by Green and Green Lawyers. The petition alleged that smart city development works are non-compliant with environmental laws. The counsel for the petitioner contended that due to cutting of 1,500 trees, air and noise pollution problems will rise significantly due to movement of traffic in the area. The trees removed acted as a buffer against vehicular pollution, the counsel added.
Further, the petition said that 10 percent area of the green belt under Bhopal Smart City should have been mandatorily available for the compensatory plantation in lieu of a proposal to cut 6,000 trees.
The petition further alleged that Bhopal Municipal Corporation has granted the permission to cut down 1,500 trees, and 4,500 more in the near future, without looking at the availability of the land for compensatory plantation.