The Uttar Pradesh government had offered to pay “adequate compensation” to a Noida resident on whose land thousands of trees are likely to be felled for a proposed food park of Ramdev’s Patanjali Yog Sansthan.
However, the Allahabad High Court on 30 August expressed strong dissatisfaction with the decision of the UP government, Outlook reported.
A division bench comprising justices Tarun Agarwala and Ashok Kumar reportedly said: “The government cannot justify its act of cutting down of trees on the basis that it will give adequate compensation to an affected individual”.
Asaf, a resident of Gautam Buddh Nagar district, had challenged the allotment of 4500 acres of land to the Sansthan. The petitioner alleged that he had been granted a 30-year lease for 200 bighas of land for plantation of trees. The state government has now allotted the same land for the proposed food park which was “illegal”.
The petitioner has further alleged that about 6,000 trees planted on the land leased out to him were likely to be felled for the food park, inflicting massive damage to the environment.
Responding to the plea, the court pointed out that environment belongs to everyone and even though the government can monetarily compensate a single individual, it is impractical and impossible to compensate everyone for a loss that is bound to affect everyone. Further hearing of the case has been deferred to the next day.
The direction of the Allahabad HC is a welcome move that lays the priorities clear in front of the government. The Logical Indian community appreciates the gesture of the judiciary and hopes that it acts as an exemplar in many more cases.