HYDERABAD: Has the authorities cut down hundreds of Jammi chettus (Prosopis Cineraria) on the campus of the University of Hyderabad? Well, at least, students think so.
The university, which bulldozed hundreds of trees at the university to create space for its massive plantation drive, has once again come under severe criticism from students who alleged that most of the trees that were cut down are Jammi chettu, the state’s official tree.
“How can the authorities uproot a state symbol? Uprooting of trees to plant new saplings makes no sense whatsoever and I don’t understand what the authorities are thinking,” wonders J Ravi, a student.
“After we raised an objection, no tree was felled today. But, already 80 per cent of their work has been done,” he adds.
On the other hand, both the university officials and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) have denied cutting any trees and said that only bushes were removed.
“We have not cut down a single tree. We have just cleared the waste land so that plantation drive can be taken up.
Before taking up cleaning, all the necessary permissions were obtained by HMDA from the vice-chancellor. In fact, the proposal to plant 1.25 lakh saplings was cleared by the vice-chancellor himself and papers are available with the horticulture department on campus,” says M Sudhakar, registrar.
“We have given permission only for removal of thorny bushes. We have not given permission for uprooting of any kind of tree, leave aside the state tree.
We have specifically said that trees like Neem and Jammi are not to be disturbed. If those trees are uprooted, then action will be taken by the forest department,” Swargam Srinivas, director of the urban forestry wing of HMDA, says.
Although deforestation work has been going on for the past five days, the incident came to light when a few students observed 15 earthmovers removing trees on Tuesday.
They immediately alerted fellow students and stopped the uprooting of other trees.