Usually trees are cut for building roads or industries. But forest officials in Bundi have shown how not to affect environment for progress of humankind.
The forest department has shifted 200 trees, which were to be cut for new Mega Highway construction project, intact with their roots and replanted them on a forest land.
Trees replanted in and around water harvesting structure of Mukhyamantri Jal Swawlamban Abhiyan (MJSA) site in Hindauli forest range of the district are ‘breathing’ easy after getting new lease of life.
The herculean task of shifting precious trees finally paid off as around 90% of replanted trees survived.
Deputy Conservator of forest Digvijay Gupta said in 2009, they planted around 250 trees, mostly neem (Indian lilac), churel (holoptelea) and amaltash (Casia Fistula), on forest land along either side of 5-km-long single lane Hindauli-Nainwa road, which passes through protected areas of Ganeshganj village.
He said when the Hindauli-Nainwa road was included in the 203-km-long State Mega Highway connecting Gulabpura (Bhilwara)-Uniyara (Tonk) via Hindauli in 2015, the department decided to shift the trees and not to cut them.
District collector Naresh Thukral said, “Usually trees are fallen during road construction projects. Later, new plantation is done but this process takes a lot of time. The forest department decided to shift the trees instead of felling them.”
Hindauli’s Range forest officer Vishnu Kumar Gupta said the National Highway Authority of India was constructing the mega highway through a private company so the forest department engaged its resources and staff in shifting of the trees.
Shifting of trees started on July 14 and continued till mid-August, Gupta said.
“Daily around 10 labourers and JCB machines used to uproot around 8 to 10 trees and replant them in and around water harvesting area developed under MJSY,” he said.
Since the trees were shifted properly and during the monsoon, around 90% of rehabilitated trees have survived, the range forest officer said.
“The trees shifting work did not incur any cost as the forest department used its own resources and took help of the construction company,” he said.
Tapeshwar Singh Bhati, environment conversationalist, said successful shifting of trees enlightens on how development and environment can go together.