Environmental activists have contended that the eco-sensitive zone of KBR park was modified without conducting a public hearing as mandated.

news Court Thursday, August 12, 2021 - 09:09

The Telangana High Court has directed the state government to not fell trees at the KBR Park in Hyderabad. The government had re-notified the extent of the eco-sensitive zone at KBR Park, which would have resulted in the cutting down of nearly 1,300 trees, as part of road widening works under the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP). The court was hearing a PIL from environmental activists on Wednesday, August 11, alleging that the eco-sensitive zone was reduced by the government without conducting a public hearing on the issue, as required.  

The PIL sought to quash a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), which re-notified the eco-sensitive zone at KBR Park, bringing it down in size, according to The Hindu. Environmental activists leading the Save KBR campaign contended that the move, which would allow for the felling of trees for road widening under the SRDP, would endanger the major lung space in Hyderabad and affect the flora and fauna of the region. The SRDP is aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the city by widening roads and carrying out other works. 

According to the Times of India, the petitioners alleged the eco-sensitive zone had been modified by the MoEFCC, in spite of the mandated public hearing not being held, and no details of a public hearing being furnished by officials. A High Court bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy directed the state government to file an affidavit with details of trees felled so far, including the age of the trees and how long it would take to grow such trees again. The bench observed that relocating of trees cannot be sufficient grounds to cut them, The Hindu reported, and also directed that the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) and the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) Department be impleaded in the case too, as the bodies responsible for the execution of SRDP. 

Also read: 

#SaveKBR: 200 Hyderabadis take up New Year resolution to save park

Flyovers around Hyderabad's KBR park approved without public hearing: Activists

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