The Supreme Court came down heavily on Government of Uttar Pradesh regarding the planting of trees around Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and asked, "Why have you been sleeping for more than 10 years? Till the time we were driven to direct CBI probe nothing was done."
The Bench consisting of T S Thakur and C Nagappan however accepted the road map that the State of UP offered to the Court. As per the roadmap, the State will have to plant six lakh saplings in two years at the cost of Rs. 20 crore.
The Supreme Court also remarked, "Our suspicion and hunch have come true that nothing was happening." Earlier, on March 9, the Apex Court had given a last chance to the government to place the roadmap for planting saplings in Agra, Mathura, Ferozabad, Hathras, Kasganj and Aliganj.
The Apex Court had also just stopped short of ordering a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in utilization of funds by Uttar Pradesh's forest department regarding the matter.
Appearing for the State, Advocate General Vijay Bahadur Singh assured the Bench that the task will be performed by the State.
The Bench also directed that the help of school children, teachers, parents, government organisations and NGOs to meet the commitment. It also said that a quarterly report has to be submitted by Principal Secretary, State Forest Department and the Additional Chief Conservator of Forest should also be involved in overseeing of the project.
The Advocate General submitted to the Bench that the authorities are first spell of rainfall in June to start the process and that the first phase of the project will be completed by August 31.
You may also read Supreme Court unhappy with tree felling in Taj Trapezium Zone.