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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

T.N. policy on invasive plants and ecological restoration will be finalised by this month, Govt. tells HC – Mrit News

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Full Bench directs Govt to also come up with a time frame for annihilating harmful species such as Seemai Karuvelam

Full Bench directs Govt to also come up with a time frame for annihilating harmful species such as Seemai Karuvelam

The Madras High Court on Wednesday granted four more weeks’ time to the State government to finalise the Tamil Nadu Policy on Invasive Plants and Ecological Restoration (TN PIPER) and directed it to come up with a time frame within which harmful species such as ‘seemai karuvelam’ (Prosopis juliflora) would be annihilated.

A Full Bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari, N. Sathish Kumar and N. Mala issued the direction while passing interim orders on a batch of cases, including the one filed by MDMK general secretary Vaiko in 2015, with a plea to eradicate ‘seemai karuvelam’ since it depletes groundwater table.

The judges adjourned the case till July 7 for further hearing after Additional Advocate General J. Ravindran told the court that TN PIPER would be finalised by this month. He said the policy had been prepared after sending officials to various States and analysing the best practices adopted over there to eradicate invasive species.

He also informed the court that notwithstanding the finalisation of the policy, the government was already removing seemai karuvelam trees from various parts of the State.

The Water Resources Department had removed the trees from waterbodies spread over 70,476.85 hectares in 30 districts between April 1, 2017 and April 30, 2022, he said.

Stating that the Department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development had also removed the invasive species from 45,133.07 hectares out of 88,433.971 hectares of waterbodies that fall within its jurisdiction, the AAG said that works were under way to remove the species from the rest of the area too.

Further, removal of the invasive and exotic species from forest areas had also been taken up simultaneously, he said and sought a month’s time to report progress.

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