The High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned of the government to maintain status quo on felling around 4,000 trees on Singair-Hemayetpur road in Manikganj for the next six months.
The court also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain in four weeks as to why their decision to cut the trees should not be declared illegal, and why they should not be directed to revise their plan for the road construction by saving the trees.
An HC bench passed the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Md Monzurul Islam, a lawyer from Manikganj, challenging legality of the decision to fell the trees.
The petitioner submitted before the court a report headlined, “Singair e kata hochchhe 4,000 trees (4,000 trees being felled at Singair)”, published in the Prothom Alo on January 25.
Petitioner's counsel Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua told The Daily Star that the trees on the road cannot be felled following the HC order.
Secretaries to the ministries of road transport and bridges and forest and environment, director general of environment department, chief engineer of roads and highways department, deputy commissioner of Manikganj, upazila nirbahi officer of Singair, officer-in-charge of Singair Police Station and editor of the daily Prothom Alo are the respondents to the rule, he said.
The lawyer could not say when the authorities decided to chop down the trees on the Hemayetpur-Singair road.
Earlier on January 18, the HC halted the felling of century-old trees along the Jessore-Benapole road following protests against the government decision.