HYDERABAD: The GHMC staff has chopped dozens if trees at Indira Park in the heart of the city to construct a tennis court on the premises allegedly without taking permission from the forest department. In all, an official said, 100 trees will be chopped for the tennis courts.
The corporation even disregarded a High Court order issued on August 8, 2020, asking the authorities to construct the tennis court in the vicinity of the park within five months.
The GHMC is constructing a 2.61-kilometre four-lane corridor between the Indira Park and the VST costing Rs 350 crore. While this will help motorists avoid four traffic junctions at NTR Stadium, Ashoknagar, RTC Crossroads and Baghlingampally, its construction would result in the acquisition of the existing tennis court.
Against this backdrop, some tennis players and nature lovers moved the court against the project to protect the tennis court and trees in Indira Park which were also to be chopped. S. Raj Kumar, the counsel for the petitioners, approached the High Court urging it to restrain the state government and the GHMC from going ahead with the elevated corridor that is part of the Strategic Roads Development Programme (SRDP).
The GHMC came forward to construct a new tennis court and promised to translocate all the trees for the purpose of laying roads, building skyways etc., as part of the SRDP. Justice Challa Kodandaram in his order recorded the assurance, directed the GHMC to stick to the time-frame and closed the plea.
Citing this, the corporation, despite having sufficient space in NTR Stadium, allegedly decided to chop of trees on the premises of the Indira Park without obtaining permission from any agency. The GHMC authorities did not invite tenders but the construction of the tennis court is going on in full swing.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, urban bio-diversity official P. Raghavendra Rao said the department had translocated the trees and did not chop them. Questioned about why trees looked chopped, he said the translocated trees had germinated. GHMC superintendent engineer (Secunderabad) P. Anil Raj said the corporation had not invited any tenders for the construction of the tennis court....