MANGALURU: THE New-Delhi based Principal Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stayed the felling of trees at Yettinahole river diversion project site until further orders, on Monday.
The Tribunal, headed by chairperson Justice Swathantra Kumar, took serious note of reckless chopping of trees at the project area in Sakaleshpur taluk.
The complainant K N Somashekar had challenged the state and Centre’s order on granting clearance for felling trees to KNNL (Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd) by filing an appeal before the NGT.
Somashekar, through his advocates Ritwick Dutta and Prince Isac, had argued that the grant of forest land to KNNL’s Yettinahole Project was illegal as it had violated many laws related to environment.
The Bench finding prima facie merits in the arguments directed the advocate appearing on behalf of Karnataka to submit an undertaking that no trees will be felled from the project area by virtue of the forest clearance order.
KNNL was also given time until Friday to file objections, if any. The matter will be heard on November 11, Somashekar said. The ongoing legal campaign against Yettinahole received a boost with wellknown green advocate Ritwick Dutta teaming up with Somashekar to force the government to withdraw its project.“Ritwick Dutta, Prince Isac and me now are a team,” Somashekar said.