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Don't let poll code bring administration to halt: HC

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The Monday told the (BMC) and other state authorities in to ensure that the implementation of the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls did not bring the administration to a halt.

A bench of and Justice N M Jamdar maintained that all required work must go on during the poll code enforcement period.

"Code of doesn't mean you stop all work. All necessary work must continue going on," the bench said.

It was hearing a petition seeking, among other things, directions to the to appoint experts to its that holds the power to grant permissions for felling of trees for development projects.

The bench asked the about the status of such appointments.

The civic body's counsel, Anil Sakhre, however, sought time to respond to the court's query and said that while the appointments were to be finalised this week, they might be affected by the model code of conduct coming into force.

At this, the bench said the appointments to the tree committee must not be affected by the code of conduct (which came into effect Sunday and will remain in force for over a month).

"How does the get affected? Everything doesn't stop because of the code of conduct. Will you stop your TBMs (tunnel boring machines that is being used for metro construction across Mumbai)? Ensure that what is necessary does not come to a halt," the bench said.

It also directed the and the Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) to inform the court how successfully they were able to transplant and translocate trees that were felled for the Metro and other development projects.

The direction came after one of the petitioners, activist Zoru Bhatena, said the practice of translocating trees was problematic since in most cases, the authorities felled trees from a certain area, destroying its green cover, and then translocated them 20 km away or even farther.

At this, the bench suggested that the BMC and the MMRDA make use of technology to see if such trees could be replanted at a site closer to the one from where they were felled.

"This is an important point raised by the petitioner. You must try to maintain a balance between the and new development," the bench observed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 11 2019. 19:20 IST