National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted three-members committee to identify the violators in connection with the alleged illegal cutting down of 6,000 trees in Corbett Tiger Reserve in Kalagarh Tiger Reserve Division in Uttrakhand.
A bench of NGT headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, after going through the report filed by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) noted that the illegality in cutting down of trees is clearly acknowledged. Thus, accountability for such violations needs to be fixed and damage to the environment restored, following due process of law, said the bench.
The bench in an order passed on October 21, 2022, stated that they constitute a three-Member Committee comprising the Director General (DG) of the Forest Department, DG Wildlife Department and the DG of Project Tiger to identify the violators and the steps required for restoration of the environment. Its report with specific recommendations may be furnished to the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) within one month and the steps for further course of action in the matter will be finalised within the next one month. Till then the Project (which project) may not be allowed to proceed, order NGT.
The matter has been taken up suo motu by the Tribunal in the light of the media report to the effect that 6,000 trees have been illegally cut in Corbett Tiger Reserve in Kalagarh Tiger Reserve Division in Uttrakhand. It is further stated that the Forest Survey of India (FSI) was asked to assess the status of these illegally felled trees.
The Tribunal noted the FSI report which stated that the area of clear felling at different sites had been calculated using the GPS survey, done by the GIS team of FSI and the Google Earth imagery.
The number of trees observed per hectare from all the inventory plots when multiplied by the area figures of a particular site gives the number of estimated trees fallen at that particular site. By adding the estimated trees at different sites, the total estimated number of trees felled arrives in the study area. The standard error of estimates has come out to be 10.31 trees, which is within the acceptable limit, the report said.
The standard error percentage has been calculated as 2.72 per cent, which is quite low and acceptable. The standard error has been used for the calculation of 95 per cent confidence limit for the estimated number of trees felled, the FSI report stated in its site-wise area of clear felling and estimated number of trees felled.
(With inputs from ANI)