The Gujarat High Court on Thursday stayed the state forest departments move to cut down over 10,200 trees for the expansion of highways in the Saurashtra region.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala passed the order while acting on a PIL moved by two persons from Rajkot.
The two petitioners have been identified as Raju Shah and Bharat Sureja.
According to Surejea lawyer Vijay Nangesh,the forest department has given two advertisements in local newspapers inviting tenders to cut down 10,262 trees for expansion of roads between Veraval and Somnath,Jetpur and Junagadh,Rajkot and Atkot,and Baldhoi and Atkot.
Objecting to the governments move,the petitioners have contended that these are 40-100 years old trees and if allowed to be cut it would create a natural environmental imbalance. They have demanded that instead of cutting down the trees,the authorities should either expand the highway on the other side of the trees or get them replanted or transplanted.
Nangesh said the court has stayed the two tenders and kept the matter for further hearing on May 10.