Gujarat High Court seeks NHAI, state’s reply
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice AS Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav issued notice to NHAI and the state government directing them to file their reply in the matter by June 27.
The Gujarat High Court has sought a reply from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the state government after a public interest litigation (PIL) questioning the cutting of trees for the six-laning of Sarkhej-Gandhinagar (SG) Highway came up for hearing. The division bench of Acting Chief Justice AS Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav issued notice to NHAI and the state government directing them to file their reply in the matter by June 27.
The petitioner Arun Buch, 83, has moved to court demanding that the court should restrain the authorities from damaging the natural greenery and tree cover for almost a kilometer of the stretch in Gandhinagar for the development of the Chiloda-Gandhinagar-Sarkhej section of National Highway 147.
Buch has submitted to the court that the stretch witnesses much-less traffic and is used by residents of Gandhinagar for their morning walk. It is also the case of the petitioner that instead of the planned six-lane road and accompanying over-bridges, a four-lane design will be sufficient to cater to the development needs. He has contended that the non-consideration of social factors prevalent in an area, while developing it, is a violation of the Indian Constitution.
The octogenarian has argued before the court that the traffic loan on the entire section varies considerably at different points. He submitted that traffic density goes up on the stretch of the road passing through Ahmedabad city, whereas there are less number of vehicles on the portion of the stretch at Gandhinagar.
The petitioner has also pointed out that the traffic flow goes up only during office hours in the morning and evening, whereas for the rest of the time, the traffic volume is well taken care of by the existing road, which is four-lane along with an additional parking lane. He has also submitted that the section of the road along with service lane offers a good track for morning and evening walkers, and calisthenics.
Buch said that the stretch has a dense tree cover and many of the existing trees are decades-old. He has argued that the cutting of the trees will seriously deprive the citizens of the crucial green cover.