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Strike balance between environment and development: HC to BMC

The Bombay High Court Tuesday said government and civic authorities should strike a balance between development of infrastructure and environment.

A division bench of Chief Justice N H Patil and Justice N M Jamdar said the authorities have to keep in mind that while infrastructure projects like the Metro line is in public interest, the impact of such projects on the environment is also a public issue.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation on the issue of due process of law not being followed before appointment of members to the Tree Authority of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The petition claimed that permissions granted by the authority to fell trees to pave way for infrastructure projects like the Metro was arbitrary and illegal.

The court was on Tuesday informed by Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni that four highly qualified persons have now been appointed as members of the Tree Authority.

The court noted that the government should instill confidence among public that the trees uprooted would be either replanted or new trees would be planted elsewhere.

"You (government) should ensure more green cover... that is nature's demand. People are not happy because trees are planted but are not taken care of. Just planting and replanting is not enough. There has to be a balance between infrastructure development and environment," the court said.

The court accepted Kumbhakoni's statement regarding appointment of persons to the Tree Authority.