VIJAYAWADA: The expansion works of NH-65 into a four-lane between Vijayawada-Machilipatnam has picked up momentum with the executing company deploying adequate men and machinery to complete the task expeditiously. However, the work is taking a heavy toll on the tree cover with old trees on either side of the stretch of the highway being axed with heavy machines.
Large number of trees on the bypass road spanning between the Vuyyuru-Kankipadu stretch were uprooted for acquiring land as part of road expansion in the last few days. The drastic reduction of the tree cover in the NH stretch and lack of any alternative plans on the part of the executing company to initiate steps to offset the less of green cover has become cause of concern.
Expansion of the road that stretches up to a length of 64.61 km between Vijayawada and Machilipatnam began in November 2016 and the work was entrusted to Dilip Buildcon Ltd. The works were taken at an estimated cost of Rs 1,462 crore, while Rs 928 crore alone was sanctioned for civil works.
The deadline for the project is October 2018. As part of the road expansion, electricity poles have also been removed at many points on the stretch. The discoms have initiated steps to reinstall the electricity poles between Vuyyuru-Kankipadu stretch.
“There was no alternative. The bulk of the tree-felling work has been almost completed. Most of it was between Vuyyuru-Kankipadu stretch,” said a representative of the work executing company.