CHENNAI: Restraining Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) from felling trees without permission as required by law, the Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal disposed of a petition seeking to curb construction of new buildings inside the premier institute’s campus.
While observing that regulating activities in the campus does not come under its purview, the bench comprising judicial member Justice M Chockalingam and expert member R Nagendran, however, restrained IIT-M from felling trees without adhering to the due process.
The tribunal was disposing of a petition from by E Seshan, an environmental activist, who sought to restrain IIT-M from carrying out construction in the campus, to regulate activities in campus and to stop felling of trees, following a government notification exempting educational institutions from getting environmental clearance for construction activities.
In March 2014, the National Green Tribunalhad restrained the IIT-M from felling trees and carrying out construction activities until further orders. Subsequently, in October, the tribunal permitted the institute to complete work on two new hostel buildings considering the education of the students.
Subsequently, in December 22, 2014 the Ministry of Environment and Forests exempted industrial sheds, school, college and hostels for educational institutions from the 2006 Environmental Impact Assessment notification that mandates getting environmental clearance for buildings more than 20,000 square metres.