Does State have any law to protect trees, asks Telangana HC

The bench was dealing with a PIL filed by K Pratap Reddy complaining that the state government is failing to provide adequate green spaces/ park areas / recreational areas for the citizens
Telangana HC
Telangana HC(File photo)

HYDERABAD : The Telangana High Court on Tuesday questioned the state government whether it had any mechanism or statutory provision to save greenery, conserve trees and maintain the ecological balance in the state, especially in urban areas.

A bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Anil Kumar Jukanti directed Additional A-G Imran Khan to inform it by Thursday.

The bench was dealing with a PIL filed by K Pratap Reddy complaining that the state government and local bodies like GHMC and municipal corporations are failing to provide adequate green spaces / park areas / recreational areas for the citizens. He said that it is a failure of the state, and violation of citizens’ fundamental rights including the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The petitioner requested the court to direct the authorities and the state government to ensure adequate maintenance of the existing public parks / green spaces and to identify and demarcate the land for development of public parks in various urban centres of the state.

Gorantla Sri Ranga Pujitha, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that indiscriminate felling of trees in rural and urban areas was leading to erratic rainfalls, recurring famines and floods, soil erosion and consequent ecological disturbances.

The bench commented that the people living in the towns and cities are moving in a concrete jungle and there was a need for parks and greenery and said that the state must bring the provision to preserve the existing greenery and to ensure the new greenery and to maintain them properly.

Justice Aradhe cited that the neighbouring state has a statutory provision called Karnataka Preservation Of Trees Act, 1976, which regulates the felling of trees and the planting of adequate numbers to restore ecological balance.

Did the TG government enact such a statutory provision, the Bench inquired and directed the AAG to inform it by July 4.

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