After weeks of protest by activists in the city, the Hyderabad High Court on Monday told the Telangana government that it will not allow the axing of even a single tree inside KBR Park.
The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by environmentalist K Purshottam Reddy against the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP).
"Cutting trees is no solution...We will not allow the authorities to cut trees. Development may be essential, but at the same time parks like KBR should not be disturbed. We will not allow you to cut even a single tree from here," the Times of India quoted Justice Bhosale as saying.
The SRDP is part of the state's plan to construct multi-layer flyovers over 20 junctions in the city. However, the flyover would come at the cost of section of KBR Parkâ€™s green cover.
The state's lawyers claimed that they would take up a massive tree plantation drive to make up for the trees that were cut down.
However, in response, TOI quotes the counsel for the petitioner as saying "They had cut 20,000 trees for the Metro Rail project and did not plant even 10 saplings."
The petition had earlier stated:
â€œWe have lost 20,000 fully grown trees for metro rail. The state is now poised to allow tree-felling in the name of development. The SRDP will add more problems to the existing traffic snarls and pollution...Most developed cities have responded to traffic problems by drastically reducing the road space for private vehicles, imposing heavy parking charges, restricting vehicles into core market areas and even demolishing the flyovers."
The court asked for the state to file its counter and posted the next hearing after four weeks.