The Uttar Pradesh forest division has cleared the felling of greater than 100,000 trees and shrubs within the protected forest space of three forest divisions — Ghaziabad, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar — for the development for two lanes of the 111-km Kanwar Marg from Muradnagar to Purkaji close to the Uttarakhand border, officers conscious of the matter mentioned on Tuesday.
Environmental activists, nevertheless, warned that felling such numerous trees will adversely impression the biodiversity of the area, and can displace the native wildlife. The activists additionally famous that Ghaziabad particularly suffers from excessive air pollution ranges, and felling such numerous trees will solely worsen the scenario.
The Kanwar Marg, which runs along the Upper Ganga Canal, at current has two lanes that run parallel to the water physique along the jap embankment. The brand new undertaking, officers mentioned, will run along the western embankment of the canal.
The ₹658-crore undertaking is to be taken up by the UP Public Works Division (PWD), and will likely be funded by the state authorities. This road, officers mentioned, will function a bypass for mild autos, and will likely be an alternate route for kanwariyas travelling to and from Haridwar throughout the annual kanwar yatra.
“Momentary permission for felling the trees has been acquired from the Centre to the state authorities… The felling of trees will begin initially in Meerut, with the assistance of the forest division. We plan to execute the undertaking in heaps, with approvals from the involved forest division officers,” mentioned PWD govt engineer Sanjay Pratap Singh, who’s the nodal officer for the undertaking.
One other official conscious of the undertaking mentioned the inspiration stone for the undertaking will quickly be laid. “It’s being mooted as a precedence undertaking for UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath,” the official mentioned, on situation of anonymity.
Manish Singh, the divisional forest officer for Ghaziabad, mentioned, “Now we have acquired short-term forest clearance for felling of trees/shrubs for the undertaking and it’s anticipated that the PWD will provoke the work of felling of trees by subsequent week below supervision of the forest division officers. The complete stretch has about 112,722 trees/shrubs in protected forests of the three divisions (Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar).”
One other forest division official mentioned that the compensatory afforestation for the undertaking will likely be taken up in Lalitpur district —about 550km from Ghaziabad.
“We anticipate that there will likely be displacement of wildlife due to the undertaking. Animals corresponding to rabbits, sure reptiles, birds, and even hyenas will lose their habitat because of this. However there isn’t any presence of notified wildlife within the space. The tree felling may even scale back protected forest cowl within the three districts,” the officer mentioned, on situation of anonymity.
Environmental activists, in the meantime, famous that felling such numerous trees will adversely have an effect on the biodiversity within the area.
“The trees along the Upper Ganga Canal are totally matured and previous. Felling them will adversely impression the native biodiversity and also will displace wildlife. It is going to additionally adversely impression the setting due to lack of forest and tree cowl,” mentioned Akash Vashishtha, a Ghaziabad-based environmentalist and lawyer.
Vashishtha additionally questioned the logic of finishing up the compensatory afforestation drive in Lalitpur. “Ghaziabad district particularly suffers from excessive ranges of air pollution and its forest cowl has not improved through the years. So, compensatory afforestation in Lalitpur is not going to assist,” he mentioned.