Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding the proposal to fell 938 trees to build a bridge over river Shali, Bankura district, West Bengal, 17/08/2023

  • 17/08/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) in the matter of Nirmal Kumar Singha Vs The State of West Bengal & Others dated 17/08/2023.

The Applicant is aggrieved by the illegal cutting of about 938 trees in the district Bankura. His case is that he had planted 1100 trees (plot No.815, Mouza Kapila, Police Station Gangajalghati, district  Bankura) and out of these 1100 trees, 938 trees have survived and are growing due to the care taken by the applicant. It was further stated that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) decided to build a bridge over river Shali and issued notice for acceptance of compensation to the applicant.

The applicant is stated to have filed his objections in writing before the Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bankura during hearing on August 12, 2022, but it was stated that the Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bankura declined to accept the same. It was further alleged that the Forest Beat Officer, Gangajalghati range, inspected the land in question and has given his sanction for cutting of the 938 trees. It was also alleged that one Santi Sutradhar, a wood merchant, has manufactured false and unfilled documents on which sanction has been granted by the Forest Ranger ignoring the provisions of the Indian Forest Act.

It is also stated that the government has issued notice for acquisition of the land and valuation of the trees has also been determined by the Special Land Acquisition Officer.

The NGT, Eastern Zone Bench was of the opinion that the matter required consideration and directed notice to be issued to the respondents which include the District Magistrate Bankura; Superintendent of Police, Bankura; Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bankura; District Forest Officer, South Bankura among others.