The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday pulled up the National Highways Authority of India for neglecting the maintenance of green cover along national and state highways, PTI reported. The tribunal rebuked the authority for allowing construction along the highways.
National Green Tribunal chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel said the authority had not implemented any of its policies. “You are not planting trees,” Goel said. “All highways have marriage places instead of trees. You are fooling everybody. We also live in the same country.”
The court accused the authority of making false claims in its affidavit to the court. “What you are writing on the paper is fraud,” the bench said. “Big buildings are overlooking the road. Even a blind person can see. You cannot construct anything within 50 metres.”
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by the non-government organisation called Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Traditions and Promotion of National Awareness. The petitioner had sought the court’s intervention to ensure the execution of the tribunal’s September 5, 2017, order where the highway authority had promised to adhere to the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy, 2015.
The petitioner claimed that the Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan governments had failed to adhere to the tribunal’s order to plant more trees on government land along national and state highways. The tribunal disposed of the petition and asked the NGO to give specific instances of violation.
The central government had introduced the green policy in 2015 to increase the number of trees along the national highways and promote the development of eco-friendly national highway corridors.