The Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna, Justice V Ramasubramanian heard the MC Mehta case regarding the felling of 2,940 trees for constructing roads in Uttar Pradesh.
The bench headed by CJI said that- “if the trees are retained, the road may not be necessarily straight and not capable of high speed. However, it is known that high speed causes innumerable accidents on roads, the bench observed. The state may consider the reduction in the number of trees proposed to be cut for the purpose of constructing roads and buildings.”
The defendant in the case PWD (Public Works Department) assure the court that they will compensate the destruction of environment by cutting trees by planting same trees in another area.
CJI said that there hasn’t been any information regarding the age of the trees cut and also no statement from UP PWD about the nature of the trees cut i.e. whether they are shrub or large trees. He also said that there cannot be compensation for a 100years old tree cut down. He has put questions to PWD to inform about the name, nature, age and species of the tree cut down. He further noted that- “a tree which has survived for a number of years must be valued accordingly. It must have given oxygen for a number of years.”
The court in the matter asked the counsel for PWD to look for an alternate method to construct roads. CJI said that roads which have much trees will have less traffic and less accidents too.