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Panel formed to study 'seemai karuvelam' trees: TN tells HC

Panel formed to study seemai karuvelam trees: TN tells HC
The Tamil Nadu government has formed an expert committee to study the impact of 'Seemai Karuvelam' (Prosopis Juliflorais) trees, which were being removed as they were considered harmful for ecosystem, the Madras High Court was informed on Thursday.

Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ayyadurai made the submission before the full bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justices M Sundar and M M Sundresh, which ordered that an interim stay on cutting of these trees will continue till July 5, the next date of hearing.

The AAG submitted that a seven-member committee under Chief Conservator of Forest (Research) as Chairman has been appointed by the government to go into various negative and positive aspects of this invasive species.
The committee shall submit a detailed report within a period of three months.

Meganathan, an advocate, had filed a petition seeking to forebear the authorities from drastically removing the trees on the direction of the court without a proper scientific study.

The counsel for the petitioner suggested that four experts be included in the committee to which the bench agreed and gave the necessary direction to the AAG.

The AAG assured the bench that till the report is submitted by the expert committee, no felling of trees will be undertaken.

Recording the same, the bench posted the matter for further hearing to July 5.

The interim order dated April 28 restraining felling of the trees will continue till then, it said.

In its interim order, the court had directed authorities not to remove 'Seemai Karuvalam' trees till further orders, as the matter has been referred to a larger bench.

A bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar had given the direction, while putting on hold the court's earlier order for removal of the trees, alleged to be harmful to the ecosystem.

"Since the matter has been referred to a larger bench, no further action should be taken by the official respondents with regard to the removal of Semmai Karuvalam trees," the court had said.

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