Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Civil Society Must Also Be Placed With Collective Responsibility To Carry Out Reafforestation Activities : Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha
30 Nov 2021 2:02 PM GMT
Civil Society Must Also Be Placed With Collective Responsibility To Carry Out Reafforestation Activities : Supreme Court
x

While emphasising on the idea of collective responsibility to carry out reafforestation and ensure a sustainable future,the Supreme Court of India on Monday directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi to evolve a plan of action to plant tree saplings in the city y involving school and college students, educational institutions, NGOz ,...

While emphasising on the idea of collective responsibility to carry out reafforestation and ensure a sustainable future,the Supreme Court of India on Monday directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi to evolve a plan of action to plant tree saplings in the city y involving school and college students, educational institutions, NGOz , etc

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna has issued the direction in an application filed by DMRC seeking exemption from forest clearance for felling of trees for the Delhi metro Phase -IV project. The Court disposed of the application by directing the DMRC to file application before the Chief Conservator of Forest seeking clearance under the Forest Conservation Act.

The GNCTD has been asked to involve school and college students, educational institutions, Non- Governmental Organizations, Citizen Welfare Associations, public servants and every citizen or person who is interested in the ecology of NCT of Delhi to plant trees or saplings and ensure that they are nurtured and protected so that the NCT of Delhi would in passage of time have more greenery leading to afforestation.

The direction has been issued taking into consideration that projects such as the metro railway have already been implemented in parts of NCT of Delhi/NCR and has resulted in loss of vegetation as well as flora and fauna in certain areas. "The implementation of Phase IV of MRTS Project may therefore be a further threat to the ecology of NCT of Delhi/NCR", the Court said in the order.

The Bench observed that in order to meaningfully arrest the problem of declining tree cover, the civil society must also be placed with the responsibility to carry out reafforestation activities.

"To meaningfully arrest the problem of declining tree cover, the civil society must also be placed with the responsibility to carry out reafforestation activities."

While acknowledging the importance of governmental responsibility in materialising the goals of sustainable development through reafforestation, the Bench strongly endorsed the idea of collective responsibility towards ensuring a sustainable future.

According to the top Court, the engagement, inclusion and participation of citizens and perhaps more significantly, the ownership of the sustainable development agenda by empowered citizens and community-level actors will contribute in a significant manner to achieving the economic, social and environmental pillars of the sustainable development agenda.

The Bench observed that Citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries of development and have a critical role to play, not just in terms of effort and action towards the achievement of the environmental goals but also in terms of the associated monitoring of the progress towards these goals.

The Court therefore issued the direction having regard to the precautionary principle as well as principle of sustainable development by ensuring citizens' participation in the preservation of the environment and ecology and noting that the the citizens of NCT of Delhi have had and would continue to have the facility of the metro rail.

 "..since the citizens of NCT of Delhi have had and would continue to have the facility of the metro rail, the GNCTD as well as DMRC are directed to conceive a plan of action for the purpose of planting trees in the NCT of Delhi. For that purpose, GNCTD may involve school and college students, educational institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, Citizen Welfare Associations, public servants and every citizen or person who is interested in the ecology of NCT of Delhi to plant trees/saplings and ensure that they are nurtured and protected so that the NCT of Delhi would in passage of time have more greenery leading to afforestation. The aforesaid direction is issued having regard to the precautionary principle as well as principle of sustainable development by ensuring citizens' participation in the preservation of the environment and ecology. It is needless to observe that such a plan of action would be conceived by the Department of Forest and Environment of NCT of Delhi in consultation with the Public Works Department, Education Department and such other departments who will involve themselves in ensuring the planting of saplings and trees in NCT of Delhi. Such a plan of action be conceived and the same be placed on record before this Court within a period of twelve weeks for consideration of this Court"

Case Title :  In Re: T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union of India

Citation : LL 2021 SC 693

Click here to read/download the order





Next Story