CHENNAI: As the issue of removing seemai karuvelam trees (Prosopis juliflora) has been referred to a larger bench by the division bench of the Madurai bench of Madras High Court recently, no further action should be taken by the authorities to remove the trees, the first Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled.
The first Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave the ruling when a public interest litigation (PIL) from advocate V Meganathan of Nanmangalam came up before it on Friday.
According to the petitioner, the perception that karuvelam trees consumed a lot of water was a misconception. The trees should not be totally eliminated based on mere fears. The authorities concerned were at liberty to frame necessary guidelines and regulations to restrict their growth and protect the environment.
The trees, widespread in the Southern districts, provided flora and fauna. They also provided shade, shelter and safety to non-wild animals. The trees are used as firewood, for making furniture and paper. The authorities, rather than unilaterally getting rid of the plant, ought to do proper research and study mentioned under the national policy.
The petitioner prayed for a directive to the State government to form a panel of experts to decide the alleged ill-effects of the plant and submit a report. His interim prayer was to restrain the authorities from drastically removing them.
Ordering notice to IIT Madras, the first Bench adjourned the matter till May 11.