On World Environment Day eve, Patiala Development Authority on tree-­axing spree | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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On World Environment Day eve, Patiala Development Authority on tree-­axing spree

punjab Updated: Jun 05, 2017 12:49 IST
Ravneet Singh
An axed tree in the Model Town area in Patiala on Sunday.

An axed tree in the Model Town area in Patiala on Sunday.(HT Photo)

At a time when environmentalists and the government are asking for planting more trees, the Patiala Development Authority (PDA) has cut down several trees in the Model Town. Some of the trees were more than a hundred years’ old were planted by the erstwhile Patiala royalty in the Model Town, which was having bungalows of officers of erstwhile Patiala estate.

The PDA has cut down the trees to make way for a new colony. The axing of trees has been condemned by the people of the areas concerned.

People said that with the help of advancement in technology, these trees could have been planted at other locations, but the administration did not care about them. On the other hand, trees aged more than a hundred years have been uprooted to make money.

“It’s an era of technology, and a decade ago, Raja Malwinder Singh had uprooted trees and later planted them at a new site. It’s the height of insensitivity towards the environment,” said Ramesh Bansal, a resident of Model Town.

Another resident Satnam Singh said, “It is totally an illogical planning. The more than 100 trees, some of them more than a century-old, was a habitat of several thousand birds, especially peacocks. They were also lungs of the city as they cleaned the air. Earlier, they opened a driving licence track here, which decongested the area, now they uprooted the trees to raise a colony. The new colony is the need of the hour, but we must use technology to save such trees and re-plant them at other places by uprooting them,” he said.

“These trees were giving fruits and were providing shade and cooling the temperature of the city. At a time, when the temperatures in the city are high, the administration is ignoring the cause of environment,” he said.

Prem Kumar, a city resident said, “The administration could have planted orchid and mango trees at other locations.”

In May, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) restrained the state from felling and cutting trees without its permission.

PDA authorities could not be contacted for comments despite several attempts.