9,000 trees to be felled to make way for transmission lines

Initially, 22,650 trees were to be cut by the developer Jaypee Powergrid Ltd (JPL) but in the revised proposal, the number had been reduced to 9,621 trees, including 1,260 Deodar trees, Dhumal said in reply to a question of G S Bali of the Congress in the House.

However, questioning the rationale behind such largscale felling of trees, Bali said it was a serious issue as about 19,600 trees including thousands of fully grown Deodars would be cut for laying of the transmission lines from Wangtoo (in Kinnaur) to Adbullapur (in Haryana).

Sharing the environmental concerns of the Congress member, the chief minister said he would recheck the figures to ascertain the exact number of trees to be felled.

The state government had allowed JPL, a joint venture of the Jaiprakash Hydro-Power Ltd and the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, to construct the 230-Km power transmission corridor from Wangtoo to Adbullapur at an estimated cost of cost of Rs 932 crore.

Dhumal said the proposal of diversion of 322 hectares of forest land to JPL for laying the transmission lines  had already been approved by the central government on July 21, 2009 as 70 km length of transmission line would pass through forest areas.

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