The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to ensure that two trees are planted in place of every tree removed for the construction work under the Jal Shakti Mission to supply water to people.
The bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Saurabh Srivastava issued this order while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea filed by one Anil Kumar.
Essentially, Kumar had moved the High Court seeking to quash an order of the Government proposing to construct an overhead water tank as well as installation of a bore well at an area of 1050 sq. meter in a village of District Sitapur.
It was the primary submission of Kumar that the area in question (where the bore well is being installed and the overhead water tank is to be constructed) is full of trees and as such it will not be appropriate for cutting and falling the trees for the purposes of clearing the ground for the installation of an overhead water tank and installation of bore well.
The State government, on the other hand, submitted that under the Jal Jeewan Mission Scheme launched by the Government of India, every household is to be provided drinking water by pipeline and for the said purpose, the said contrustcion was proposed.
It was further stated by the Sub Divisional Officer that for the purposes of construction, certain implements were needed and for transportation of such implements one Neem plant, three Chilwal plants, and one Badhal plant were removed which were about two years old were. The Court also informed of the instruction received from the SDM that no tree has been fell; neither any tree shall be removed in the future.
In view of this, the Court disposed of the petition with the direction to the authorities concerned that they would abide by the instructions which have been sent to the Chief Standing Counsel by the Sub Divisional Officer and that in case removal of any tree is inevitable, the same will be done only with requisite statutory permission from the forest department and for one such removal of a tree, two trees shall be planted by the respondents who shall ensure that such planted trees acquire full growth.
Case title - Anil Kumar v. Union Of India Thru.Secy.Ministry Jal Shakti Deptt. Drinking Water And Sanitation New Delhi And Ors [PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. - 789 of 2022]