After weeks of protests by activists and environmentalists in Hyderabad, the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday directed the Telangana government to maintain status quo around KBR park and also stayed its controversial government order (GO 19) issued on May 13.
This comes a week after the Hyderabad High Court told the Telangana government that it will not allow the axing of even a single tree inside KBR Park while hearing a public interest petition filed by environmentalist K Purshottam Reddy against the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP).
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 a section of KBR Park’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.
The Times of India reported:
The GO, issued by the state department of environment, forests, science and technology, simplified the process of according permission to industries to fell trees under `Ease of Doing Business'...Seeking details of the SRDP, the NGT instructed the government to submit all documents related to it during the next hearing.
The GO has been stayed and the next hearing will take place on July 25.