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NGT imposes Rs 10,000 cost on Dehradun district magistrate for not complying with its order

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal levied a cost of Rs 10,000 on the Dehradun district magistrate for not complying with its earlier order while hearing a matter regarding the felling of forest trees in Uttarakhand.

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The green tribunal, which was hearing a petition about the destruction of a more than 20-acre forest in the Aamwala Tarla village, had earlier directed the district magistrate to ensure inspection and filing of a report by a panel.

A bench of National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava noted that the panel had earlier constituted a joint committee comprising the district magistrate, principal chief conservator of forests and the head of the regional office of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to carry out a spot inspection.

But no inspection was conducted and a report by other officials had been filed, the bench -- also comprising Judicial Member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel -- said.

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In an order passed last week, the tribunal said, "It was the responsibility of the district magistrate as the coordinating agency in the joint committee to ensure that the needful in terms of the direction of the tribunal and that the report is submitted." It added that the tribunal's time had been wasted during the day's proceedings.

"Hence, we have no option but to impose a cost of Rs 10,000 upon the district magistrate, Dehradun, for not complying with the order of the tribunal and for submitting the report of a committee different from the one constituted by the tribunal," the green panel said.

Directing the district magistrate to deposit the fine within two weeks, the tribunal also directed the joint committee to comply with the previous order and submit the report.

The matter has been posted to August 27 for further proceedings. PTI MNR MNR SZM

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