Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal construction of road by hotels on reserve forest land of Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve, Nainital, Uttarakhand, 21/09/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Manoj Singh Vs Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Uttarakhand & Others dated 21/09/2023.

In the application, the applicant, Manoj Singh has raised the grievance that some of the hotel owners with the support of the forest department by demolishing and cutting the reserve forest land located on the slanting hills in Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve in Budh-Pangot area of Nainital, Uttarakhand, have constructed a road. It was alleged that the work of construction of road was done in 2017. Thereafter, widening of the said road had continued till December 2022 by cutting the forest land on the sides of the road in violation of the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change dated March 28, 2019.

The allegation made in the application reflected violation of environmental laws and also substantial question relating to environment, noted the court and directed a joint committee to be constituted. The committee comprising of the Wildlife Warden, Uttarakhand, Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEP&PCB) and District Magistrate, Nainital will visit the site, ascertain nature of the land on which the alleged road has been constructed as also details of the trees if any felled in the process of construction of road and the extent of damage caused to the environment in the process and suggest remedial action, if any, for restoration. The Committee will also disclose the names with full address of hotels owners/persons who are responsible for construction of road, the court directed.