NGT seeks factual report from PCCF

Forest land for HC expansion

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Nov 15: In an application filed against proposed construction work for new High Court complex at Bahu and Raika forest land in Jammu, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought factual report from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF).
The application in NGT has been filed by two students namely Aavin Kumar Chadgal and Satyam Arora seeking direction to the Government not to initiate the work at the allotted forest land measuring 813 marlas, situated at Bahu and Raika for expansion of High Court till the final disposal of the case by this Tribunal.
A five- Judge Bench of NGT, headed by its Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, observed that grievance in this application is against expansion of the High Court premises by using the forest land without following the due process of law and therefore a factual report is necessary before considering the matter.
“Before considering the matter, it is necessary to require a factual and action taken report to be furnished in the matter by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Jammu & Kashmir within one month” NGT observed.
In the application, it has been submitted that the forest land proposed for expansion of Judicial infrastructure at Jammu, measuring 813 kanals and 13 marlas at village Bahu and Raika, immaculately falls under Bahu Game/Conservative Reserve which consists of thousands of small, medium and big bamboo species which are at the verge of extinction in Jammu region.
Further, the applicants said, for the purpose of expansion of judicial infrastructure on the said land, thousands of trees will be axed down which will cause a great deforestation that could be irreparable. It has been further submitted that if 813 kanals of the forest land is deforested, it will adversely affect the environment of Jammu region, as the Bahu Game/Conservation Reserve is said to be the lungs of the Jammu region and it provides a source of fresh air.
It is further submitted that Bahu Conservation Reserve provides a green cover to Jammu region which will get blown up by this deforestation and the Jammu region will turn into a gas chamber just like Delhi.