HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court has directed the roads and buildings department not to further chop age-old trees as part of road widening from Gandipet to Shankarpally villages in Ranga Reddy district.
Instead, Justice Annireddy Abhishek Reddy asked the Telangana state government and the Trees Protection Committee of the forest department to decide on the application by Vata Foundation, which has agreed to bear expenses for trans-locating 244 trees obstructing the road widening and planting them at alternate places.
Justice Reddy further ordered that authorities take the decision within one week and until then no further trees are to be chopped.
The vacation court bench with Justice Abhishek Reddy was dealing with a petition filed by Vata Foundation founder trustee Uday Krishna Peddi Reddy, who had rushed to the court, as R&B department had started chopping the trees for road widening. The petitioner also pleaded that the foundation be given a chance to relocate the trees at its own expenses.
After the departments concerned had on December 3, 2020, decided to fell 244 of 286 trees for widening the road from Gandipet to Shankarpally along a stretch of about 2.5 kilometres. Vata Foundation put up an appeal with photographs of the tretch, encouraging people to get those trees trans-located to their places. There was a flood of responses from citizens residing within a 10-km radius of Gandipet in this regard. Citizens have agreed to adopt all the 244 fully-grown trees at their own expense.
Mentioning the same, Vata Foundation gave a representation to the departments on April 6, 2021, to permit them to relocate those trees. While this representation was pending, R&B Department started chopping the trees on April 10.
Senior counsel Chandrasen Reddy representing the petitioner foundation submitted that the forest and other department authorities are acting contrary to Telangana state's flagship programmes like Haritha Haram and Green Challenge. When citizens have come forward to bear expenses for relocating the trees, authorities are giving scant regard to such an offer, Chandrasen Reddy submitted.
Considering the case, High Court directed that the trees not be cut till a decision is taken by department concerned on representation made by Vata Foundation....