NGT finds violation of norms in Balarampur tree cutting; directs govt to submit affidavit

Bhubaneswar/Dhenkanal: Taking a stern note of the tree felling incident at Balarampur for a beer factory, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the Odisha government to submit an affidavit in connection with the incident, sources said.

The NGT has also observed that there was violation of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in the tree felling incident in Dhenkanal district. The next hearing is scheduled to be held on January 21, 2019.

It is pertinent to mention here that villagers of Balarampur had moved the NGT in connection with cutting down of hundreds of precious tress in the region for a proposed beer factory.

It is worth mentioning that IDCO had allocated the land to P Bottlers Private Limited to set up a beer factory and CM Naveen had himself laid the foundation stone for the project via video-conferencing on November 3.

However, the locals mostly women were guarding trees against the government decision to cut down trees for the proposed beer factory project. Later, a scuffle broke out between locals and police which sparked a major public outcry among different quarters across the State.

This had then forced Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order for a RDC probe along with stoppage of further tree cutting in the area.