TN Govt's move to allow felling of trees stayed

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Chennai, Jul 3 (UNI) The Madras High Court has stayed the Tamil Nadu Government's move to allow free felling and transportation of 36 species of trees in private lands.

Admitting a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Staff Association, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifullah, passed an interim order in this regard.

Felling and transportation of trees were regulated under the provisions of the Timber Transit Rules (TTR). The government had passed an order on September 3, 2007, exempting 36 species of trees from the purview of the TTR.

The order paved the way for felling of these species without prior permission and the consignment could not be checked at any stage of transportation. Assailing the move, the petitioner association preferred the present petition, seeking a direction to the authorities to take all steps for implementation of the orders of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit, besides the provisions of the Forest Act and Rules and TTR as the move violated them.

''It is also contrary to the government policy for 2007-08,'' the petitioner added.

As an interim prayer, the petitioner sought a stay on the operation of the Tamil Nadu governments policy and to direct the authorities to introduce permit system for saw mills and include penal costs.

Recording the submission, the Bench directed the Government to consider the proposal for amending the rules and disposed of the PIL.


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