Distressed Guwahati Residents dissent against the cutting of more than 2500 trees

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

July 21, 2022

July 21, 2022

Updated on

July 21, 2022

Location of Conflict

Guwahati

Kamrup

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Environmental/Ecological Damage

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Assam

Sector

Land Use

The National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) began felling trees in Guwahati to expand National Highway 37 (NH 37). The tree felling was undertaken for a project that plans to expand a stretch of the Guwahati bypass road from the current four-lane to six-lane. The concerned stretch is 16.5 Kilometre long and extends from Jalukbari to Khanapara. Residents and environmentalists protested this move and campaigned to save the trees. It is claimed that around 2000 trees that lie within the Kamrup East Forest Division will be chopped for this project.

According to media reports published by NorthEast Now, members of Friday For Future India, Guwahati stated “Citizens of Guwahati started observing that trees in Jalukbari were being chopped down and soon the news that 2000 trees will be chopped spread around. Among these are some age old trees that cannot be compensated with 10 new saplings each. The important ecosystem services that these trees have been providing to our city are priceless. It is a matter of concern for the entire city and we urge the citizens to come forward and raise their concerns.” 

Another citizen expressed in Guwahati plus, “About two days back, I saw workers chopping down a huge Gulmohar tree with electric chainsaw on the highway and it broke my heart. We need more greenery on the highway to counter the carbon emissions of the heavy vehicular traffic passing by throughout the day,” reported Guwahati Plus.

Forest officials on the other hand claimed that NHAI has the 'Right of Way' along the highway, which gives them the power to chop trees for extension whenever needed. Residents of Guwahati had protested February 2022 as well objecting the cutting down of 12 old trees in RG Baruah Road for constructing a flyover.

As of July 2022, the felling of trees continues for the highway expansion project.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

356.02

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

National Highways Act, 1956
Section 4 [Highways under this act include the surrounding fences, trees, post and boundary adjacent to the highway]
F. No. 11-306/ 2014-FC, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, dated May 2015
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

No

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National Highways Authority of India, District Administration, Kamrup

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW emailed the DC office of Kamrup. Response awaited.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Friday For Future India, Guwahati

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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