Lifestyle Environment 03 Oct 2021 National highway wor ...

National highway works cost dear, over 1,000 trees to be chopped

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | HOSKOTE NAGABHSHANAM
Published Oct 4, 2021, 12:58 am IST
Updated Oct 4, 2021, 8:24 am IST
Activists are up in arms as word has spread about the cutting of the gigantic trees that turn the two-lane highway into a shaded boulevard
Already, thousands of big trees including those a hundred years old were cut down during the construction of the NH 44 four-lane road. (DC)
 Already, thousands of big trees including those a hundred years old were cut down during the construction of the NH 44 four-lane road. (DC)

ANANTAPUR: As many as 1,000 trees between Rapthadu Y Junction and Anantapur city are going to be felled for road widening works but neither the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) nor the forest department had initiated any plans for having alternative greenery.

Already, thousands of big trees including those a hundred years old were cut down during the construction of the NH 44 four-lane road between Kodikonda check-post and Kurnool district borders of Telangana state 10 years ago, but alternative plantations were not done. The NHAI allegedly failed to pay bills to the forest department for greenery improvement in time in Anantapur reach.  

 

The roads and buildings (R&B) officials have taken measures to remove the trees on either side of the road as part of the road widening project. The NHAI sanctioned Rs 310 crore to have connectivity between NH 44 at Bellary Bypass and Chennai Highway at Pangal on the outskirts of Anantapur.

The expansion would be 9.2 km long and pass through the main roads of the city.

The R&B department has reportedly not obtained permission from the forest department to cut down trees but started work. Sources from the forest department confirmed that the R&B officials had not taken necessary permission to cut down the trees, which is mandatory.

 

 “The area through which the road passes is under the jurisdiction of the forest department. Hence, they need to take permission from the forest department. We will wait and see whether there is any option for road widening, as now we have not given permission to cut down the trees. However, the R&B Department has to plant saplings at some other place to compensate for the loss of green cover due to road widening,” a senior official from the forest department said.

After road widening, the R&B will have to plant saplings on either side of the road and it has to bear the nourishment cost of plants for a period of three years, the Anantapur DFO said. The road project is set to spell doom for hundreds of more than 50-year-old tamarind and neem trees that line the road on either side between Rapthadu Y Junction and Anantapur town. 

 

Activists are up in arms as word has spread about the imminent cutting of the gigantic trees that turn the two-lane highway into a shaded boulevard. A number of trees have already been cut and their stumps can be seen lying on the road. For others, earthwork is going on to create space for the road.

“The stretch is full of tamarind and neem trees that are very large and old, and form ecosystems unto themselves. There are no such tree clusters left anywhere in the 6 km radius of Anantapur. Translocation is not an option. Climate change is another important reason. We need to stop cutting down trees,” observed Dr M. Suresh Babu, president, Residential Welfare Association.

 

P. Naveen Kumar, a civil engineer, pointed out why the trees could not be used as a median by acquiring land on the other side? “It will become a landmark and can even be provided as a solution to rampant tree felling during road widening projects to other states. The road can become an attraction,” he said.

“Incidentally, in the executive summary for the road project, the care of trees doesn’t figure. We create new plantations whenever we widen roads. If some trees can be relocated, we do that as well,” said an engineer from R&B NH.

 

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
-->