Odisha CM orders probe into tree felling in Dhenkanal for beer factory
BHUBANESWAR: A day after the villagers lodged a strong protest against tree felling at Balarampur in Dhenkanal district to set up a beer bottling plant, chief minister Naveen Patnaik directed the district administration to immediately take steps to stop tree cutting.
Patnaik also directed the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) to investigate into the matter, a release by the office of the Chief Minister said. The directive of the Chief Minister came after the issue was raised by the Opposition BJP in the State Assembly on Saturday.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, leader of the BJP legislature party KV Singhdeo had said on the one hand the state government has decided to plant trees alongside the riverbanks, on the other hand, it has ordered to cut more than 20,000 valuable trees from Jhinkargadi forest. “This speaks of the double standards of the state government,” he said.
Responding to Singhdeo, finance and excise minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said the state government will plant double the number of trees that are felled in the forest. Stating that IDCO has allotted the land to the beer manufacturing company, he said there are some portions of the land of the Revenue department near the village where around 600-700 saplings would be planted.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of the said project through video conferencing on November 3. However, the construction work of the project scheduled to begin on November 8 was stopped due to the protest by the villagers.