PIL challenges 2 town planning schemes of Surat

A public interest litigation (PIL) has challenged two draft town planning schemes of Surat in the Gujarat High Court, expressing apprehension that around four lakh trees would be cut if the schemes are implemented.

Acting on it, the court has issued notices to the respondents — Surat Municipal Corporation and the state government — and kept further hearing after two weeks.

The petitioner group has been identified as Sultanabad Bhimpore Social and Environment Protection Trust.

According to details, authorities have prepared draft town planning schemes for Dummas and Bhimpore villages and their surrounding areas. The petitioner has argued that there are lots of objections to these draft schemes by locals.

The petitioner has contended that implementation of the schemes would result in cutting of around four lakh trees many of which are 400-year-old banyan trees and also put many heritage buildings into jeopardy.

"In normal circumstances, the authorities have to drop the scheme in the wake of large scale objections by the locals. However, we apprehend that here the objections will be overruled and the schemes will be implemented," said petitioner's advocate Dilip Kanojiya.

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