Brajwasis Resist SC Order Allowing Felling of 318 Trees for Mathura-Vrindavan Road Widening

Activists who have been opposing the project are praying for recall of the order on the grounds that the objections raised by them were not heard. The court has listed the matter after summer vacations, but given its urgency, the petitioners have requested for an early hearing.

Vrindavan, 2022-05-21 (Vrindavan Today News): Clearing the way for the 7.5km-long Mathura-Vrindavan four lane highway, the Supreme Court, on May 13, granted permission for cutting of 318 trees along the route. Ignoring the pleas of citizens and green activists, these fully-grown, flourishing trees will be axed for the development project worth Rs. 31 crore. The Public Works Department is expected to begin the project soon after the forest department clears this ‘final hurdle’.

Being part of the TTZ (Taj-Trapezium Zone), cutting of green trees is prohibited in the region. The PWD has been knocking the doors of the apex court for this reason for the past several years. The development authorities have argued that as the only approach road to Vrindavan from Mathura the narrow highway (namely M.D.R. 123) is highly burdened during peak hours and festival days which leads to unrelenting traffic jams and accidents oftentimes. The problem is more pronounced on important junctions such as Jaisinghpura, Birla Mandir, Gayatri Tapobhoomi and Paagal Baba Mandir. This necessitates the widening and development of the road as a proper four-lane highway from Masani intersection to Paagal Baba Mandir.

On May 13 the Supreme Court cleared the final hurdle by granting permission for cutting the 318 trees in question. Green activists and concerned citizens who have been opposing the project, are praying for recall of the order on the grounds that the objections raised by them in a petition filed by Madan Mohan Temple Sevait and member of Braj-Vrindavan Heritage Alliance (BVHA), Shri Vijay Kishor Goswami were not heard. Considering the argument, the Court has listed the matter after summer vacations. However, given the urgency of the matter, the petitioners are requesting for an early hearing.

Meanwhile, Friends of Vrindavan director Jagannath Poddar said, “This is a matter of grave concern for us as Brajwasis. We are in talks with the concerned authorities, and the response has been reassuring. We are hopeful that a better solution to the nagging civic issue will be reached without causing much harm to the environment.”

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