Ecological damage: Himalayan village under scanner of the Supreme Court

Jilling Estate, a small village nestled in the highland forests of Kumaon Himalayas, has been under the control of the Supreme Court for no good reason.

Home to the endangered species of leopards, the village, located in the Guni Gaon gram sabha, in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, had recently been shaken by the thud of an earthmoving machine. An appeal by a resident, Birendra Singh, to the Supreme Court said the earthmoving vehicle was laying the groundwork for the construction of "at least 44 gigantic villas and other gigantic structures, including a helipad. , cottages and a reception area. " Singh The lawyers, Karthik Jayashankar and Vipin Nair, represented by leading lawyers, Pinkai Misra, said the project was not environmentally sanctioned and was spread out on a 90-hectare Kumaon hill, which is ecologically fragile. , containing subtropical pine forests and Himalayas.

Mr. Singh had appealed to the Supreme Court against an order of the National Green Tribunal on July 24, 2018. He accused the NGT of failing to pronounce on the issue, to apply the law wrongly and to give erroneous reading of the report of the Commissioner of the Court. this non-forestry activity should be stopped until a survey is carried out by the Uttarakhand Revenue and Forests Department. The Commissioner also stated that the area in question "undoubtedly constitutes a forest in the dictionary sense of the term" forest "."

Rohinton F. Nariman and Indu Malhotra, on October 1, acknowledged the seriousness of the matter. The Chamber sent a notice to the defendants, including the Ministry of Environment and Forests. He ordered the status quo. The case is now due to be heard on November 16th.

Mr. Singh, who was also represented by lead counsel Gopal Subramanium, argued that the project was totally in contravention of an order made on February 16, 2018 by the Supreme Court in the T.N. The Godavarman Thirumulpad case, which allowed the Himachal Pradesh government to proceed with the "logging" of trees, and that too, under close surveillance.

Experimental basis

"The felling of trees in India has been banned for more than two decades. We are of the opinion that, on an experimental basis, we can authorize the silvicultural cutting of trees to a very limited extent and that this felling should be watched very carefully to see if such felling really contributes to the regeneration of forests. " declared the Supreme Court. had clearly taken position on the felling of trees in the Himalayan forests.

In his petition, Mr. Singh pointed out that "the uncontrolled cuts continued despite the fact that the law on" forests "was settled long ago by the Supreme Court". The appellant argued that the court's decisions remained "largely unenforced", which led to "the irreparable destruction of the primitive forests of the Himalayas".