Addl chief secy slapped with contempt notice – http://toi.in/9zV6qa12/a31gj

[12/20, 08:08] Sekarreporter1: Addl chief secy slapped with contempt notice – http://toi.in/9zV6qa12/a31gj

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Addl chief secy slapped with contempt notice
TNN | Dec 20, 2020, 04:56 IST
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Chennai: The Madras high court has issued statutory notice to the additional chief secretary of Tamil Nadu on a contempt of court proceeding for failing to comply with a court order passed in 2019.
A division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice P T Asha passed the order while admitting the contempt plea moved by V K Surendranath, through his counsel Baladaisy ,an additional deputy superintendent of police.surendranath
The bench, however, made it clear that the additional chief secretary S K Prabakar need not appear before the court if the order is complied with in the meanwhile.
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The issue pertains to a plea moved by Surendranath, who is due for retirement in June 2021. He was placed under disciplinary proceedings in 2012 with imposition of censure by the additional chief secretary till 2017. In the meantime, all his juniors were promoted, and he was made to work under his juniors due to the disciplinary proceedings.
Aggrieved Surendranath moved the court. Allowing his plea, a division bench of the court quashed the order of the additional chief secretary in 2019.
“…. a mere perusal of the impugned order, namely the order of the authority, would itself demonstrate that the evidence let in on the side of the department does not categorically impute any misconduct against the petitioner.”
The department was also directed to consider promoting the petitioner.
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Since the order was not complied with by the authorities even after reminders, the petitioner moved the present plea for contempt action against the additional chief secretary.
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‘TN’s tree cover spread of 8% to 17% alarming’
Ram Sundaram | Dec 20, 2020, 04:37 IST
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Despite having a national park in the heart of the city, the green cover in Chennai is just 10% of its total metropolitan area. Among the five major municipal corporations in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore has 17.5% of tree cover that is spread over 4,514 hectares (ha), according to a forest department study funded by the State Development Policy Council (SDPC).
The government is taking consistent action to increase green cover and had spent `191.8 crore last year to plant 71 lakh tree saplings, said C Ponnaiyan, vice-chairman of SDPC, while presenting the study at an internal meeting on Tuesday.
Stressing on the importance of the types of trees being planted, G Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal, an environmental organisation, said, “After repeated requests, only now the government has started planting native species in some areas. In coastal cities like Chennai, only native trees like pungai (beech) or veppamaram (neem) can withstand a cyclone. Exotic species get uprooted easily. This was evident during Cyclone Vardah during which we lost a massive green cover”.
According to global standards, any urban area should have at least 33% green cover. London has aimed at 50% by 2040. So Chennai, particularly with a national park, should look at 50% in the next two or three decades. Presently the tree cover of 8% to 17% in Tamil Nadu is alarming, he said.
The attitude of residents towards nature reflects on a city, believes D Kamatchi, a National Green Tribunal (NGT) advocate. “It is not surprising that Coimbatore topped the list as people, who moved to the city from surrounding villages, were from agricultural backgrounds and wealthy. So they ensured the green cover wasn’t disturbed”. Also the city hasn’t witnessed major cyclones.
Though people from similar backgrounds arrived at Madurai city, the green cover remained the same. Instead, they focussed on agriculture in their native villages. At present acres of barren land along the road, connecting the city to the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, are being converted into commercial plots. So it is the right time to plant tree saplings here, she said.
Environmentalists are hopeful for the future. They say that contrary to the 1980s when residents would fight over insects or protruding branches from neighbouring houses, there is better awareness now, especially the way in which youngsters team up to rejuvenate lakes and plant trees around them.
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