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SC: Don’t block wood-based industries with green protection | India News


NEW DELHI: In an important note, Supreme Court on Friday overturned a ruling by the National Green Court overturning Uttar Pradesh the government’s decision to grant 1,215 permits to the timber industry to consume available timber from trees outside the forest area and stipulates that the importance of environmental protection must be weighed against employment and livelihoods. by thousands of people.
In making this ruling, a bench of Judges BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna also issued a warning to all judicial and quasi-judicial forums such as NGT to check the certificates of NGOs by the petitioner, pretending to be an environmentalist without doing any field work, before making a plea against the projects and industry.
Writing the 75-page verdict, Justice Gavai said, “It is essential that, while protecting the environment, the need for sustainable development is also considered and properly balanced between the two.”
The UP government has granted a new license for the establishment of wood processing industries in the state after the Forest Survey of India (FSI) submitted a district, species and diameter survey of the timber. available from trees outside the forests in the state. Based on the FSI report, the state committee reviewed timber availability and set a maximum number of permits to be issued.
On the petition of two NGOs – Uday Education and Happiness Trust and Samvit Foundation – NGT canceled the license. SC found that except for filing a number of PILs, these two did not do any field work on environmental protection. They fear that their petitions before the NGT may be at the request of existing timber industries that do not want more competition.
SC said, “We ask the NGT that when the facts and information of such litigants are seriously raised, and at the same time entertain the grievances of such litigants, which may be adversely affect the rights of many people, it must ensure the information of those litigants. ”
Judges Gavai and Nagarathna noted that UP’s establishment of new timber manufacturing industries would attract an estimated investment of Rs 3,000 crore, guarantee jobs for 80,000 people and ensure more favorable prices for agroforestry farmers as well as prevent the shipment of nearly a thousand tons of timber each year from the state to Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar-based timber industries.
While allowing new timber-based industries, SC has put the UP government on strict terms by requiring the government to ensure that forest cover in the state is increased and not reduced.

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