17,000 trees to be axed in Bathinda, Muktsar for widening NH-7
Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change granted permission to cut trees on May 13. The process is expected to begin by June-endUpdated: Jun 07, 2020 01:08 IST
The already semi-arid south Malwa region is set to lose over 17,000 trees over the next few months for the widening of 38-km Bathinda-Fazilka stretch of the national highway number 7 to four-lane. Part of the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojna’, the highway further connects to Sriganganagar in Rajasthan.
Bathinda divisional forest officer Swaran Singh said, “The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change granted permission to cut trees on May 13. The process to pull down the trees is expected to begin by June-end. Afforestation will be done as per the environment compensation protocol.”
For the project, around 77.4 hectare land will be cleared in Bathinda and Muktsar forest divisions in the next few weeks. Bathinda will lose 7,133 trees and 393 bamboo plants, while Muktsar will lose 5,910 trees and 3,900 bamboo plants.
According to the plan that the National Highways Authority of India has formulated, a distance 107-km between Bathinda and Fazilka will be strengthened and widened. Of this, the Union environment ministry has granted permission to upgrade the Bathinda-Malout (Muktsar district) section measuring 38-km.
Sources in the state forest department said the south Malwa region may lose even more forest cover, as permission to cut trees from Malout to Abohar in Fazilka district for the widening of the same highway is also under consideration.