Odisha's Malkangiri losing its green cover to road projects

As many as 2,532 trees of various varieties have been felled over the years to pave way for at least 19 road projects in Malkangiri.

Published: 12th June 2019 07:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2019 07:49 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

By Express News Service

MALKANGIRI: Infrastructure projects have come at a huge environmental cost in Malkangiri.

As many as 2,532 trees of various varieties have been felled over the years to pave way for at least 19 road projects in the district, as per data released by Malkangiri Forest division.

The stretch of National Highway-326 between Malkangiri and Kasighat which once used to be lined with trees now lies almost barren as 953 trees were felled for widening of the road. 

As per the data, around 328 trees were felled for construction of a 50 km road between Govindpalli and Balimela. Construction of road between Kalimela and Podia resulted in chopping of 287 trees.

What has not helped the green cause is failure of Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) to undertake compensatory afforestation in the district. 

Around 183 trees were axed to construct a road between Venkatpalam and Pitakonda. Similarly, 121 trees were felled for a road connecting Malkangiri and Balimela, 26 for road between Govindpalli and Mahupadar, 99 for constructing the road between Kalimela and Venkatpallam, 73 for laying a 220 KV electricity line from Balimela to Malkangiri by OPTCL, 69 for Bisoiguda-Mantriput road, 54 for Malkangiri-Motu road and others. 

As a result of deforestation, the area under moderate dense forest (MDF) in the district has reduced from 76,660.03 hectare in 2015 to 6,750.17 hectare in 2017.

However, the extent of very dense forest (VDF) cover in the district increased from 15,952.10 hectares in 2015 to 15,993.67 hectare in 2017, said Malkangiri DFO Pradeep Devidas Mirase.

He said, the firms that undertook the road widening projects have already deposited the money with OFDC for compensatory afforestation.

“The OFDC will submit the plantation scheme for each of these projects and 10 times the trees felled will be planted and maintained by OFDC,” Mirase told Express.

As per Forest Survey of India, the extent of water bodies in the district has come down from 23,672.63 hectares in 2015 to 19,546.02 hectare in 2017. 

Green cover in tatters

  • 2,532 trees felled over the years for 19 projects

  • 953 trees felled for widening of NH-326 between Malkangiri and Kasighat

  • 328 trees axed for construction of road between Govindpalli and Belimela

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp