Published on 10/02/2017
Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees Act 1976 as amended
Felling and replanting of Trees in the non-forest areas in the State of Uttar Pradesh, India is regulated through the Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees Act of 1976. (Attached-U.P.Tree Protection Act 1976)
The provisions do not apply to trees situated in reserved and protected forests and trees situated in a forest or forest land in which any notification under the Indian Forest Act is in force. Trees situated in urban areas, in government gardens or on land held by the Government were earlier exempt from the operation of this Act but the provision has been amended through the notification no. 1425(2)/XVII-V-I-I(KA)-21-1998 dated 29-07-98 and 993(2)/XVII-V-I-1(KA)/5/2001 dated 30-04-2001and the Act now applies also to urban areas and trees situated in a Government Garden or on land held by the Government. Trees situated in Cantonment areas are however exempt from the operation of this Act.
Felling a tree has been defined to mean cutting, girdling, lopping, pollarding or damaging a tree in any other manner.
A tree has been defined to mean “Any woody plant whose branches spring from and are supported upon a trunk of body and whose trunk or body is not less than 5 centimeters in diameter at a height of 30 centimeters from the Ground level and is not less than one meter in height from the ground level. The expressions “Timber trees” and “Fruit trees” mean respectively the trees of the species specified in schedule I and Schedule II of the Act respectively.
Only the felling and cutting of trees as mentioned in Schedule I and II of the Act therefore appears to be regulated and the felling of all other species of trees may not be regulated.
Under the provision of this Act removal or disposal of any tree, other than a tree which is completely dead and has fallen without the aid of human agency, is regulated.
Permission has to be sought from the competent Authority for felling of trees and such permission is not to be refused if the tree constitutes danger to person or property. It is also provided that unless an area is specifically notified, such permission may not be required for the felling of any tree with a view to appropriating the timber thereof for bonafide use for purposes of fuel, fodder, agricultural implements or other domestic use and also that such immediate steps as are necessary to remove any obstruction or nuisance or to prevent any danger may be taken without such permission.
The officer to whom permission is to be made is notified by the State Government. Such officer is expected to conduct a suitable enquiry and within 20 days after making such an enquiry forward the application and report to the competent authority. The competent authority has to give its decision to any application, made for felling within 5 days of receiving this report failing which the permission is deemed to have been granted. Decisions are subject to grievance redressal through representations required to be filed within 30 days of the communication of the decision. Persons granted permission to fell, cut or remove any tree shall be bound to plant and tend two trees in the area from where such tree has been cut or removed or to pay for the cost of such plantation if in default .
The D.F.O. has also been empowered to facilitate plantation of trees in blank areas (any piece of land, not being in cultivation, measuring half a hectare or more and with 5 or less trees growing on it) by issuing a notice requiring such plantation to be made if he is of the opinion that such plantation is necessary. Such directions as issued by the DFO are also liable to be appealed against within 30 days of the receipt. The concerned Conservator of Forests is designated as the Appellate Authority.
Felling of any standing tree, cutting, removing or otherwise disposing any fallen tree in contravention to provisions of the Act or not complying with the conditions of permission granted under this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand Rupees or with both.
Forest officers not below the rank of a Forest Ranger or Police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector have the powers to arrest without a warrant for offences committed under this Act.