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HC forms panel to inspect Upper Shillong trees  

Shillong, June 30: The High Court of Meghalaya on Wednesday instituted a five-member High Powered Committee (HPC) to examine the felling of trees for implementation of the Shillong-Dawki road project.

The order of the high court was based on the PIL of senior advocate Kaustav Paul against felling of trees which are considered ‘heritage’

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Biswanath Sommader and Justice HS Thangkhiew said the HPC has been constituted to look into the specific grievances as sought to be highlighted in the PIL.

“A comprehensive report shall be submitted by the HPC on the next date, after conducting a thorough and detailed enquiry with regard to the issue as highlighted and upon inspection of the actual site,” the order said.

The bench said it will be open to the HPC to suggest before the court viable means to resolve the highlighted issue raised in the  PIL without compromising either with conservation of the trees- some of which are of considerable heritage- and environment on one hand and development/expansion of the road project on the other.

The five members of the HPC are Advocate General Amit Kumar, senior advocate Kaustav Paul, a representative of the Forests & Environment Department, a representative of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) and a member of general public, Jiwat Vaswani @ Bablu.

The court will hear the matter after three weeks for further consideration.

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