Ticking off the state government for planning to fell trees in and around the KBR National Park for the Strategic Road Development Plan project, the Hyderabad high court on Wednesday said the park was a national asset and sought to know how the government could think in terms of shrinking the green space in the heart of the city.
The bench of acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice P Naveen Rao was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by senior advocate K Pratap Reddy on increasing green cover in Hyderabad and in all major towns and cities of Telangana. During the course of the hearing, Justice Naveen Rao referred to the park which is in the news because of the government's controversial SRDP project.
“I have read an article in a newspaper on the state's intention to make some changes to the KBR Park and its vicinity,“ the judge told the government's special counsel S Sarat Kumar.
Intervening, the acting CJ said he too was hearing about plans to cut trees at the park and commented:
“How can you even think of doing that?
KBR Park is a national asset and it belongs to people. It doesn't belong to any individual or government ? “While the bench had directed the state on April 27, 2016 to furnish details about the total number of parks in all the towns and called for the master plan copy of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, the HMDA authorities have not furnished anything to the court so far. When the matter was taken up for hearing on Wednesday, Justice Naveen Rao sought to know from the special counsel their plans on KBR Park. A cornered Sarat Kumar then sought a week's time to file reply detailing the government's plans.
Later, the petitioner's counsel S Niranjan Reddy, told the court about two ancillary pleas he had filed seeking the details of land allotments made by the state in the last 20 ye ars to various projects and parks in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.The bench directed the state to file its counter furnishing all the details within three weeks.
“There are industrial parks, textile parks, software parks and IT parks, but there are no green parks,“ the counsel said. The bench agreed with him and underlined the need for developing new parks. He also urged the court to set up a court-monitored expert committee to identify areas for developing parks.
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