GHMC gets permission to cut trees in KBR walkway

Citizens start online petition to save green cover.

Hyderabad: The GHMC has obtained permission from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) to begin axing trees and reduce the walkway around the KBR National Park in Jubilee Hills.

An official said that following protests from environmentalists, the GHMC had revised the Strategic Road Development Project at KBR Park and brought down the number of trees to be chopped from 1,900 to 600.

The draft notification issued by Union ministry of environment and forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) on revising the dimensions of the eco sensitive zone (ESZ) at KBR National Park would be nominal process and run parallel to the SRDP.

The GHMC had earlier proposed to widen the road which would further shrink the unused peripheral part of the park. Officials claimed that the skyway construction would ease traffic congestion but combined with road widening would provide a decent traffic solution until 2040.

“The GHMC’s proposal to construct six skyways around KBR Park was to facilitate commuters who have been facing severe traffic snarls during peak hours. We tried making the roads one-way but it yielded very poor results,” the official said.

The official said the GHMC would translocate the 600 trees to a different location. The corporation has planted over 2,000 five-feet saplings in the KBR Park vicinity and geo-tagged them.

“Since the corporation has obtained permission from PCFF it can start work at any time without waiting for final notification from the MoEF,” an official said.

However, following the directions of the National Green Tribunal, the MoEF&CC in its draft notification stated that the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of the KBR Park be fixed between 3 and 29.8 metres,” he said.

He said the MoEF&CC would release the final notification 60 days after the draft, which was released on November 30.

Citizens have started an online campaign asking enthusiasts to sign a petition against the GHMC move.

“Civic authorities have no imagination beyond satisfying the political masters of the day. This is a timeless treasure that will only appreciate if we respect it and not needlessly groom it with the miserable follies of the ‘forest department’. They are the last people who can preserve green cover unless it’s artificially generated, (sic)” said Nusayr Azam, an online petitioner.

Echoing her concern, Narasimha Reddy Donthi said, “KBR Park is on a ridge, and is a water and carbon sink. Only open space left now. This zero zone will kill it eventually. (sic)”

“Already the area around Durgam Cheruvu has become so bad, and Inorbit as well. There is dust flying everywhere. KBR is our only breathing space left. We need this area, do not do anything to KBR park, (sic),” said Khushboo Sinha.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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