HYDERABAD: The residents of Nallagandla and Tellapur were in for a rude shock on Friday morning when they learnt that the beautiful cluster of trees around their homes were butchered without intimation. Condemning the felling of around 130 fully grown trees in the Defence Colony, the residents took to Twitter to vent their ire.
“When I saw theses trees being brutally chopped away, I asked the workmen on whose orders they were doing it. They then handed me a letter stating that it was for an R&B project. On one hand, the State promotes Haritha Haram, and on the other, we destroy 50-year-old trees,” said one of the residents Suresh Matta, who tweeted about the incident to get the attention of concerned authorities.
According to the said permit letter for the ‘cutting and disposal’ of 134 trees, dated October 31, permission was sought from the Forest Division officer of Shamshabad and the trees were being cleared for the expansion of the 7-km radial Road No. 7 from Tellapur Junction to the ORR. The Forest Divisional Officer, in his letter, stated that of the 134 trees being felled, only two were of Babul and Neem species.
The rest of them were peltophorum species that are not suitable for translocation, and could be removed.
The letter further stated that Rs 2,81,400 must be deposited with the department in order to plant three trees in replacement of every tree lost. Each tree has been pegged at Rs 700 and the R&B was asked to plant 402 trees instead near the same site. In case the R&B fails to do so, the Forest Department will have to take it up.
However, the residents were not convinced. “We have seen how compensatory plantation works. Nobody will take care of those saplings. In fact, we don’t know where they will find space to do that. After the expansion, barely 5 feet will be left,” added Suresh. Other residents asked why the government had not consulted the local resident welfare association before felling the trees.