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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Oil company uproots 140 trees from green belt area in Greater Noida

The police said they are currently assessing the damage caused by the uprooting of seven-year-old trees at Knowledge Park-V, Greater Noida.

noida Updated: Jun 27, 2019 11:37 IST
Kushagra Dixit
Kushagra Dixit
Hindustan Times, Greater Noida
To pave way for a petrol pump and make the main road visible, a government-controlled oil and gas firm allegedly uprooted at least 140 trees at a green belt in Greater Noida.
To pave way for a petrol pump and make the main road visible, a government-controlled oil and gas firm allegedly uprooted at least 140 trees at a green belt in Greater Noida. (HT Photo )
         

To pave way for a petrol pump and make the main road visible, a government-controlled oil and gas firm Wednesday allegedly uprooted at least 140 trees at a green belt in Greater Noida. The district forest department filed a complaint against a manager and senior manager of the pump at Ecotech 3 police station. Officials from the company could not be reached despite repeated attempts.

The police said they are currently assessing the damage caused by the uprooting of seven-year-old trees at Knowledge Park-V, Greater Noida.

The oil and gas company had, in June this year, sought permission to fell and transplant a total of 56 trees for five different fuel pumps in Greater Noida. However, at least 140 were uprooted for a single fuel station at Knowledge Park-V within seven hours between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, workers at the fuel station told HT.

PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, said, “The Greater Noida authority had earlier this month sought permission for felling and shifting of 56 trees for the five fuel stations. The company had deposited an environment compensation fee of ₹5.68,512 with us for the 56 trees. But we found that at least 140 trees were uprooted by them. It was a green belt and forest department has lodged a police complaint against the officials of the company. We have also registered a case under the forest act. We will levy a strict penalty against them.”

He added that a penalty of ₹5,000 has been slapped in a case of illegal felling. However, upon certain conditions, the department can impose a penalty of up to ₹50,000 per tree, he maintained.

According to the letter, permission was sought to either fell or shift 56 trees, which includes 15 jamun, 30 kanji, two silver oak, eight amla and one sheesham (rosewood) tree.

The forest department officials who inspected the spot said that none of the uprooted trees would survive even if transplanted.

“We are dealing with the case and have approached the police. The total damage is yet to be assessed. At the moment, all we can say is that strict action shall be taken against violators,” said BP Singh, senior manager

(horticulture), Greater Noida authority.

“The uprooting was done to pave the passage to the fuel pump while additional trees were felled for better visibility for the main road. Earlier, we were told to uproot 50 trees, but later, our senior told us to uproot all of them. We followed the orders,” said an employee of the petrol pump.

Residents and activists said about 200 square metres of the green belt was destroyed by the time they objected to it.

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 11:37 IST

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