BHUBANESWAR: Amid backlash over felling of trees in MLA colony for construction of apartment complex, the State government has sparked another controversy by deciding to chop down hundreds of trees on Fire station-CRPF square stretch of the Capital city for road expansion.
Sources said the R&B division has sought permission from the Forest and Environment department to fell 185 trees along the stretch, including some trees in the vicinity of CRPF campus, to take up the road widening project. The approval, however, is pending with the Chandaka Wildlife Division as the area falls under its jurisdiction.
An official from the division said permission has been sought from the division for felling of the roadside trees nearly a month back, the same time during which cutting of trees started for the multi-storey apartment project at MLA colony, but the approval is yet to be given for the same.
“We are reviewing the matter as the area is a part of Chandaka division. Besides, they (R&B division officials) need to comply to other norms required to get clearance for the project,” he said. A senior forest official said there are instances where road expansion projects have been taken up without causing harm to greenery, especially large trees.
The division can also follow a similar approach to promote sustainable development. Nature lovers and members of the Mahanadi Bachao Andolan have opposed the move. Earlier, the State government faced strong protest over felling of trees in MLA colony last month.