The district is all set to lose a green cover of nearly 11,000 fully grown trees. Following a clearance by the union government, the state forest department has started felling trees near the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) on the old Grant Trunk (GT) Road here.
According to district forest officer (DFO) Naresh Ranga, nearly 1,000 eucalyptus trees would be axed near the NDRI compound in the first phase.
"Felling of trees after getting due mandatory official nod is a routine exercise. It is done to maintain claim on the forest land of the state government and to ensure new plantation for environmental reasons after a stipulated time. This time, the state forest department has decided to plant fruit and ornamental trees after falling old trees," said Ranga.
Muscat and eucalyptus are the major varieties planted by the state forest department in the Karnal district. However, the locals will miss the dense tree cover, which was there around the NDRI campus for the last several decades.
While the DFO office has earmarked 10,000 cubic metre area, the production division of the state forest department would be responsible for the entire felling exercise.
"Different varieties of trees have a tentative term before its felling. Eucalyptus is done away after 20 years of its plantation whereas sheesham is axed after 60 years. Similarly, other trees, including neem, kikar, etc., are felled after 40 years of growth," said the DFO, adding that the period of tree felling were subjected to change depending of the urgency in the public interest.
"It's not that after the said tenure, the trees are bound to be axed. There are several sheesham
trees in Karnal, which are standing for more than 70 years. We have planned to plant ornamental trees like chaprausia, amaltas and arjun and fruit trees of jamun, neem and others as its substitute," he said, while adding that eucalyptus, which has a commercial value would also be planted in a large area.