The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently granted a month’s time to the Pollution Control Board (PCB), Uttarakhand along with other government officials to submit a response on unauthorised cutting of trees in the forest area adjacent to Nainital city.
Since the Naini lake gets recharged by forest areas around it, its catchment area is also in danger of loss.
According to the order, the applicant had submitted that some of the trees belonged to the endangered species.
On September 1, the NGT had constituted a Joint Committee and directed them to submit a factual and action-taken report within two months.
Pursuant to the direction, Uttarakhand PCB’s Assistant Section Officer (ASO) Dr. Rajendra Singh, had sent a report of the Joint Committee on October 31.
“In view of the averments in the application and observations in the report of the Joint Committee, we consider it appropriate to have response of the State of Uttarakhand through Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment and Forest, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Divisional Commissioner, Kummaon, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Commissioner, Nainital Municipality and Uttarakhand PCB who stand impleaded as respondents No. 1 to 7,” the order stated.
Looking at the significant nature and impact of the environmental violations involved, the NGT also appointed Senior Advocate Akash Vashishtha as amicus curie to assist this Tribunal in just and fair adjudication of the questions involved.
The matter will now be considered on February 3, 2023.