SC refers railway plea to cut 500 trees to empowered panel

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked Central Empowered Committee on environmental matters to examine the plea by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCC), run by the Ministry of Railways, to cut nearly 500 trees in the Taj Trapezium Zone for the construction of 132 KV transmission line.

The apex court vacation bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Amitava Roy gave four weeks’ time to the CEC to examine the plea for cutting down 493 trees by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) between Faridabad and Agra that partially pass through the Taj Trapezium Zone.

The vacation bench asked the DFCC to provide all the relevant papers to the CEC.

Appearing for the DFCC, counsel S. Wasim A. Qadri said that construction of the 132kV transmission line was required to power part of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor starting from Dankuni in West Bengal to Ludhiana in Punjab passing through Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor being set up as a Special Purpose Vehicle under the administrative control of the Railway Ministry is being funded by the World Bank.

Giving the features of the project, the plea said that the project on completion is expected to provide breathing space on the highly saturated Howrah-Delhi section of the railways on account of movement of coal for a large number of thermal power plants in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

The completion date of the project that was earlier 2016 has now been extended to 2019 and it would emit 1/6th of the carbon pollution emitted by road transport.

–IANS

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