HC directs against felling of trees

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, June 29: The High Court has directed Government not to remove thousand of trees coming under the construction of Srinagar Semi Ring road till proper compensation is granted to their owners.
The petitioners from Srinagar and Budgam, who are about 50 in number had approached the High Court with the submission that in respect of the fruit bearing trees located in their orchards owned by the petitioners having come under the acquisition process for construction of Semi Ring road connecting Pampore with Ganderbal via Budgam, Baramulla, Bandipora and Srinagar districts, the Government has made irrational and unrealistic assessment for compensation in lieu of removal of these trees.
Court on submission of counsel appearing for petitioners admitted the writ petition at the very threshold and took up the same for final disposal with the direction to the authorities to accord consideration to the claim of the petitioners as projected in the petition in accordance with the rules governing the field within a period of four weeks.
Court till such time directed the present position of the petitioners to be maintained, which implies that no tree on proprietary land of the petitioners shall be removed till the grievances of the petitioners with regard to adequate compensation for these trees be made to the petitioners.
Petitioners in their petition also submitted that the compensation payable for land is still in dispute with the Government as adequate compensation in terms of Rehabilitation Policy of Government of India having been adopted by the State of Jammu & Kashmir is not being paid to the land owners.
“Alongside the said issue, the issue of compensation for fruit bearing trees has also cropped up as the respondent state is trying to deprive the land owners including the petitioners of fair and legitimate compensation for the fruit bearing trees”, read the petition.
They were seeking the direction the respondents be issued to award compensation for fruit bearing trees of the petitioners according to the present market value commensurate with the age of trees , type of fruit and the quantity of the crop yielded by each tree after conducting fresh assessment and survey thereof.


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