After stray dogs issue, Telangana HC questions state govt over tree protection

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court has questioned the state government on its mechanisms and statutory provisions to save greenery, conserve trees, and maintain ecological balance in urban areas. The court directed the state to inform it by Thursday about any such measures in place.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by K Pratap Reddy, who complained that the state government and local bodies like GHMC are failing to provide adequate green spaces, parks, and recreational areas for citizens.

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The petitioner argued this is a violation of citizens’ fundamental rights and requested the court to direct authorities to ensure the maintenance of existing parks and identify land for new parks in urban centres.

The High Court noted that the Karnataka model ensures urban green cover under its Tree Conservation Act, where tree authorities meet regularly to discuss conservation measures. The Telangana government was asked to explain if it has a similar mechanism or law to protect trees and greenery.

Gorantla Sri Ranga Pujitha, counsel for the petitioner, argued that the indiscriminate felling of trees in rural and urban areas is leading to a range of environmental issues, including erratic rainfall patterns, recurring famines and floods, soil erosion, and consequent ecological disturbances.

The Telangana High Court bench acknowledged these concerns, noting that people living in towns and cities are surrounded by “concrete jungles” and emphasized the need for more parks and greenery.

The court directed the state government to take action, stating that Telangana must bring provisions similar to the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976, to preserve existing greenery, ensure the creation of new green spaces, and maintain them properly.

In a separate order, the High Court had earlier issued guidelines for water conservation in Telangana, directing the state to implement rainwater harvesting structures, issue a notification to protect water bodies and introduce a water conservation curriculum in schools.

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