Forest areas being “finished” due to concretisation, says SC

NEW DELHI: Forest areas across the country like Pachmarhi and Gir are “finished” due to urbanisation and construction of five-star hotels for which politicians, social workers and even courts are “responsible”, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.

Expressing serious concern over degradation of such eco-sensitive places, the apex court stressed that there is a need to “protect the forests” and made reference of such places in Rajasthan, Gir National Park in Gujarat and Pachmari biosphere reserve in Madhya Pradesh where hotels and resorts have come up inside the forest areas.

“Have you gone to Pachmarhi? You have finished Pachmarhi. We are responsible for this. The courts are responsible, you are responsible. It was least expected from social workers, politicians, courts and others. Pachmarhi has gone,” a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said.

“The forest needs to be protected,” it added.

The Apex Court was hearing a matter related to eviction of around 11.8 lakh alleged illegal forest dwellers and tribals across the country.