Green cover reduced in name of road development

Felled trees on Gubbi-CS Pura stretch transported without a trace

The work on Gubbi-CS Pura Road under the Kship scheme is going on at a brisk pace. However, in violation of a court order, hundreds of trees have been felled and transported without  a permit near Kunnala.

Neither the Forest nor the Kship officials have any information about the felled trees. When asked, some labourers say that the trees re being felled to facilitate road widening. A few others told two-wheeler riders that the trees were being felled on the instructions of the elected representatives.

More than hundred jamun, tamarind and peepal trees have been axed near K G Temple, Kunnala Hospital and Ningammanahalli Gate. Most of the trees have been cut down closer to the roots. The workers have then used machines to uproot the tree stumps.

The tamarind trees that grew by the roadside were a source of income for the Kunnala gram panchayat. The question is why the gram panchayat members who could have saved the trees to save their income choose to remain silent.

The roadside trees near G Hosahalli, Koppa, Surugenahalli, Neralekattepalya and Marathipalya have been protected despite road widening work carried out. This raises questions as to why the trees could not be spared near Kunnala and where the felled trees, worth lakhs of rupees, were transported to.

Did the court order axing of trees?
A few years ago, tenders had been called for road widening work between Gubbi and CS Pura. A public interest litigation had been filed in the court charging that the project would damage the environment. In 2012, the court had passed an order directing the authorities to save the trees and cancel the road widening project. However, later, keeping in mind the inconvenience caused to the public, the court permitted the project on the permission that the trees would not be felled to make way for the road. The green cover has been protected on the Gubbi-K G Temple stretch, but trees have been uprooted near Kunnala.

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