Madras HC calls for monthly reports on eradication of invasive plant species – Chennai News
Chennai, Sep 26 (IANS) The Madras High Court on Monday called for monthly progress reports from District Collectors across Tamil Nadu on the eradication of the exotic and invasive species of shrub, “Seemai karuvelam” that is considered harmful to the ecology.
A division bench of Justices N. Sathish Kumar and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy ordered that the first such reports must be filed before the court on November 2.
It also issued directions to the District Collectors with respect to eradication of Seemai karuvelam from forests and water bodies across the state, and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department to remove the invasive species from all forest areas.
The bench also granted permission to private land owners in forest areas to remove invasive species from their land and to use the material as firewood.
The Water Resources Department’s Chief Engineer informed the court that the invasive species was spread in 1.92 lakh hectares of water bodies under its control and that it was removed from 72,000 hectares of water bodies. The officials also told the court that the rest of the invasive species would be removed in a phased manner but the court refused to accept this.
It told the Chief Engineer that the invasive species would grow all again and that the department must call tenders for removal of invasive species from all water bodies in a single go and uprooted.
It also ordered the department to complete the tender process within three months.
The division bench also expressed surprise on the reported expenses of panchayats on spending Rs 4.74 crore for uprooting the invasive species from 2,700 hectares and directed the District Collectors, in their capacity as the Inspector of Panchayats, to oversee the eradication process of these invasive species and submit monthly reports before the court.
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