Month: September 2018

What should you do if you see any tree or branch being cut in Mumbai?

What should you do if you see any tree or branch being cut in Mumbai?

1) Ask to see a copy of BMC Tree Authority’s permission.

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live

 

The permission will include:

  1. The tree number
  2. The type of tree
  3. The size (girth & height).

Permission will also say whether tree has to be cut or transplanted.

If it is for tree trimming, the permission will mention the girth & length of each branch to be cut (random branches cannot be cut without permission).

It looks something like this:

Sample tree cutting permission letter Mumbai

 

 

Tree cutting permission sample (issued by Tree Authority)

(You can even download for reference)

2) Application for cutting/payment towards cutting are not same as permission granted.

be quiet the rock GIF by HBO

 

Permission letter will specifically say that permission is granted.

3) If no permission is shown (or if you are too shy to ask for it), call 100 & inform cops.

 

sobbing will smith GIF

 

They will come & have this checked & stop the work if illegal.

4) Tweet a picture of tree cutting work-in-progress, with postal/google address to @MumbaiPolice

Bollywood Not Changing GIF

Dont hesitate or delay!

A tree takes just a few minutes to get cut. And you do not wanna be an accomplice in the crime. Do you?

5) If tweet is marked to @Zoru75 it can be followed up too.

 movie marlon brando the godfather oh well francis ford coppola GIF

6) Fill our volunteer form!

Mumbai is divided into many wards and each ward has its own set of tree issues, The Tree Authority has officers in all wards. This form will not only help you know who is your tree officer, it will also help us connect with you in times of need!

Fill it now and share with friends!

FORM: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TzcYaM3VbMm88dCQ_MrNaT5p7sWg8x0zppR9D-XFGYU

Thanks!

 

Bollywood Namaste GIF by India

 

PS: Even BMC cannot trim any tree, including road-side trees, without written permission from Tree Officer mentioning the tree number & size of branches to be cut for trimming.

Supreme Court steps in to save the Aravallis from ruthless profit-making developers and the Government of Haryana

Supreme Court steps in to save the Aravallis from ruthless profit-making developers and the Government of Haryana

PRESS RELEASE:

On 11th September Hon’ble Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, the Supreme Court delivered a stinging 81 page judgement regarding construction in the Aravalli hills of Haryana, that will hold serious implications for the ongoing litigations with regard to preservation of ecology vs real estate development.

It showed, yet again, how the interests of the government are to collude with the private corporate developers at the expense of ecological considerations and public interest.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court stated the Town and Planning Department of the Government of Haryana had colluded with R Kant and Co. “ and effectively led a very large number of people up the garden path.”

The Court held that the 424.84 acres held by R. Kant & Co, was forest and forest land as it had been notified and closed under the Punjab Land Preservation Act in 1992.

Judges expressed regret that the Town & Country Planning Department of the State of Haryana had been supporting these illegalities. The court stated that ‘There is no doubt that at the end of the day, the State of Haryana comes out in very poor light and must be held accountable for its conflicting and self-destructive stand,’ The court expressed distress that the damage caused to the Aravalli hills is irreversible, due to influential colonizers like Kant and Co. and the a very strong mining lobby in Haryana.

The Hon’ble court said ‘The rule of law seems to have broken down in Haryana and become the rule of men only to favour the applicants. Hon’ble judges also stated, ‘It is not only the future generations that have to pay a heavy price for this environmental degradation, but even the present generation is paying a heavy price for the environmental and ecological degradation inasmuch as there is an acute water shortage in the area as prophesied by the Central Ground Water Board. In addition, what was once a popular tourist destination, namely, Badkal Lake has now vanished and the entire water body has become bone dry. What are the more severe consequences that will be felt in the years to come, only time and nature will tell.

Apart from the status of the land, which was protected for forests, there was the issue regarding groundwater reserves, as water shortage was already a serious problem in the region.

The court ordered the following:

(i) R Kant and Co. to pay Rs. 5 crores to an Aravalli Rehabilitation fund which will be used to rectify some of the damage.

(ii) All plot holders to be given a full refund of their investment along with interest at 18% per annum payable entirely by R Kant and co. from the date of the investment.

(iii) Of the 33 personal constructions made, those made before Aug 18 1992, can stay.

(iv) The rest of the constructions will have to be demolished and have to be paid a compensation of 50 Lakhs jointly by Town and Country Dept and R Kant and company.

The orders of the court were to preserve and protect the environment in and around the Aravalli hills and generally avoid degradation through stoppage of both mining and constructions.

Courts confirmed that lands notified under the provision of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) in the state of Haryana must be treated as ‘forest’ and ‘forest land’, as done in earlier orders in the MC Mehta cases in 2002 and 2004, and has in fact been so treated for several decades by the State of Haryana. It added that there was no reason to change or alter the factual or legal position.

The order will strengthen the protection as forests of all areas notified under the PLPA in Haryana. Over 5000 ha in Gurgaon, and about 7000 plus ha in Faridabad are covered under the PLP Act.

The court also clarified that the Sandhu judgement of the honble Supreme Court of 2014 was passed in the context of Punjab and must be confined to its own facts, and is not of assistance to the applicant in this matter of Haryana. It held that the decision in Sandhu itself distinguished the M.C. Mehta set of orders both on facts and in law.

It further stated that the interpretation of Sandhu that the status of the subject lands ought to have been an existing forest as on 25th October, 1980 when the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 came into force, is incorrect.

Justice AK Goel to re-hear 18 cases already reserved, what are we doing about it?

Justice AK Goel to re-hear 18 cases already reserved, what are we doing about it?

The NGT might as well shut down.

The Govt desires to clear all obstacles which stand in the way of environmental destruction. This is a mockery of the judiciary and renders all cases futile. Is the newly appointed chairperson saying that the judges who heard the matters are less competent than him?

Pray what is his knowledge about the environment that makes him God?

The lawyers who are standing by allowing this to happen are guilty of allowing justice to be subverted. We should all stand together in these testing times and challenge these plans as much as possible.  Matters involving the environment are public interest litigation irrespective of who files it. It involves issues of the planet’ s well being. The well being of the country cannot be put to risk for some development. The well being cannot be purchased, you can buy air purifiers, oxygen tanks and what not. Nothing can replace nature.

The NGT act was enacted to check haphazard development not to allow it. Once the common man loses faith in the judiciary, it is doom for a, democratic republic.

Nothing short of the impeachment of this judge can save the environment and the justice delivery system.
Judges cannot lower the reputation of the institution and erode people’s faith in the judiciary. Our future generations will bear the brunt of mindless destruction of the environment Years of hard work by litigants who toil to seek justice and protection of the environment comes to zero. This is not at all acceptable. I am deeply infuriated by the planned demolition of NGT by the Govt. Exploring my options. Dear friends step up, it’s your country, your mother nature under assault, wake up for God’s sake. For your children’s sake, wake up.

 

 

-Stalin Dayanand