Trees of certain age should never be cut for projects, says SC
New Delhi: The green bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday said that it would impose a ban on the felling of mature and beneficial trees for development works. As per the apex court, tree felling would not be allowed for laying of roads and setting of industries.
The bench was headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde. He said that in case a road project was inevitable then the value of each of the trees should be built into the cost of the project. Under this, the value of the trees, which need to be felled, would be included in the project cost.
The bench comprising of CJI Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice V Ramasubramanian said, “We want to lay down some guidelines, or 'Cognitive Pathway', so that the thinking of urban planners goes on that line. Certain species of trees and of certain age should never be cut down. We want to know from the experts which are those types of trees which are most beneficial to mankind.”
Earlier, the Supreme Court-appointed committee had submitted a report where it had set a guideline for the valuation of trees. It said that a tree's monetary worth is its age multiplied by Rs 74,500. The experts had also said that a heritage tree with a lifespan of over 100 years could be valued at more than Rs 1 crore.
The committee said that the monetary value of a project, under which hundreds of trees are required to be cut, is sometimes very less than the economical and environmental worth of the felled trees.