Maharashtra’s ambitious, upcoming project – the 701kms Samruddhi Expressway – will see more than 2 lakh trees undergoing axe in order to pave way for the road’s making.
In a review meeting held on June 3, the status project report that was presented revealed the need to chop 276,050 trees. 153,744 trees of the total number have already been cut. This is touted to be the biggest green cover loss for the sake of a project by far.
However Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) – the organization to build the corridor, has declared that it will plant 8 lakh trees to make up for the loss caused.
“The Wildlife Sanctuary of India, the Botanical Survey of India and the forest department will monitor the trees for seven years to ensure their survival. As per the norms of India Roads Congress, 583 trees should be planted every 1km but we will plant 650 trees every 1km. We have started planning the plantation, which will be implemented the next monsoon. We will plant local trees, not exotic ones to ensure they survive, and also make irrigation arrangements for all,” said Radheshyam Mopalwar, managing director and vice-chancellor, MSRDC.
Remarking this compensatory move as futile, D Stalin of NGO Vanshakti brought to light that the plantation drive will take time to restore the green cover as the trees will take time to grow. “Let’s assume that the new plantation does take place. Saplings can’t compensate for grown trees. A deficit of 20 years will remain. Also, how will the government provide 8 lakh liters of water every day? Is there any concrete plan?,” he said.
Speaking on the matter, green activist Zoru Bhathena called it nothing less than mass killing of trees for the sake of yet another developmental project. “Getting clearances for development projects is becoming easy. The process of checks and balances has been removed and the decision stemming from them will eventually harm the environment.”
Samruddhi Expressway is anticipated to be completed by the year 2021. Currently the project is ongoing the land acquisition phase and works have begun at 16 locations.
Information source: mumbaimirror
Title image: thefinancialexpress