CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the administration of Cuddalore and Villupuram to maintain status quo in cutting trees along the National Highway 45-C in the Vikkaravandi-Pinalur-Sethiathoppu section.
The case relates to the widening of the roads in the Vikkaravandi, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur section covered under the national highway section NH-45C under the National Highways Development Project.
Justice K Ravichandrabaabu admitted a writ petition from D Stalin seeking to stop the proceedings of the Villupuram Revenue Divisional officer on June 15, 2017 till the valuation of the trees is assessed and auction carried out as per the order of the High Court that directed the authorities concerned to maintain status quo till Feb 9, 2018.
According to the petitioner, the Project Director, National Highways, sent letters to the Sub-Collector of Cuddalore and the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) of Chidambaram and the Revenue Divisional Officer, (RDO) Villupuram seeking permission to cut and remove the living trees for the four-laning road work. The above officials directed tahasildars of Bhuvanagiri and Kurichipadi to conduct a field inspection in their jurisdictions to note down the number of trees and spices and also to fix yielding assessment.
The petitioner said the tahsildars had submitted a wrong yielding report to the officials whereas the RDO of Villupuram district, as per the revenue manual rules, had dutifully sent a list of trees and spices to the DFO, Villupuram, vide his proceedings on June 15, 2017 for fixing the yield assessment and for concurrence to cut and remove the trees.