MLA Housing Project In Bhubaneswar: Orissa HC Orders Govt To Calculate Cost Of Felling 870 Trees

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court (HC) has directed the Odisha government to set up an expert committee to calculate the cost of felling 870 tress to make way for construction of high-rise apartments in Bhubaneswar, which will house the state’s legislators.

The HC gave the order on a PIL filed by Jayanti Das, a social activist based in Cuttack, against the Rs 549.41 crore MLA housing project.

A bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Chittaranjan Das directed the government to complete the exercise in four weeks and file a supplementary affidavit.

The HC also sought an explanation from the state government on whether the divisional forest officer of Bhubaneswar followed any set guidelines while giving permission to cut the trees.

The state government had stated in its affidavit that the divisional forest officer had given permission to cut the tress on the condition that the project proponent would plant 8,700 trees or deposit Rs 68.70 lakh as per the plantation norms. The Odisha Bridge Construction Corporation has already deposited the sum, it said.

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