The Supreme Court today asked the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee to give its report on a plea of PSU, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCC), seeking permission to fell 493 trees in Taj Trapezium Zone for one of its projects.
DFCC, a venture of Indian Railways, is constructing the ‘Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, starting from Dankuni, West Bengal to Ludhiana in Punjab and wants to remove these trees in Taj Trapezium Zone as they come in the way of “construction of 132kV Transmission Line” for the corridor.
A vacation bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy asked the CEC to give its report within four weeks after going through the documents and meanwhile, DFCC to provide the papers to the committee.
The PSU, in its plea filed through lawyer S Wasim A Qadri, said the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor would be passing through Faridabad and Agra and some of its portions also fall under the Taj Trapezium Zone where trees are to be felled for construction of electric transmission line for supply of power to the corridor.
The “Freight Corridor” is funded by the World Bank and is one of “the most prestigious projects” having national importance and has been setup as a “Special Purpose Vehicle” in the transport system under the Ministry of Railways, it said.
“In this background it is submitted that, Eastern DFC, is expected to provide breathing space in highly saturated Howrah-Delhi section of Indian Railways, wherein the requirement of ‘Coal’ movement is ever increasing due to surging power needs and setting of large number of thermal power plants in Bihar, UP, Haryana, Punjab and Himalaya Pradesh,” the plea said.
This is an “environment friendly project” as it is less polluting than the the road transport systems, it said.