Tree census in Sector 91 following complaints
After protests from residents and environmental groups, the authority had stopped cutting trees.Updated: Aug 29, 2018, 03:11 IST
The forest department on Tuesday started a census of the trees that have already been felled in Sector 91 city forest area which is to be developed as a biodiversity park by the Noida authority.
Residents had earlier complained that more than the permitted number of 3,000 trees had already been cut.
After protests from residents and environmental groups, the authority had stopped cutting trees.
“We are still counting the trees based on the stubs in the area, and numbering all of them. We will have a confirmation on the number of trees cut by Wednesday. Meanwhile, felling has been stopped and no construction is going on,” PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, said.
He added that this was an independent investigation and the Noida authority was not involved in counting of trees. Additionally, he said that no more felling permission has been issued.
According to Srivastava,“There is another request for the felling of 1,000 more eucalyptus trees. However, that is on hold and the permission has not been given yet.”
Officials from the Noida authority insisted that less than the sanctioned number of trees had been cut before protests began and work was halted.
Meanwhile, the plantation of trees will begin from Wednesday. The authority is expecting to plant over 600 trees about 8- or 10-foot tall.
“We will be planting trees that are already pretty big and will be able to sustain in a thriving ecosystem that exists there. These plants will mature fully in the next couple of years at the most,” Rajender Singh, deputy director (horticulture), Noida authority, said.
He added that the entire plantation process for the biodiversity park will be complete within the next six months, and will include over one lakh plants. This will mostly comprise native species like mango, guava, ashok, gulmohar, amla, tamarind, neem, sandal and lemon, among others.
Environmental activists claimed that construction work is still going on to build a food court and amphitheatre. However, officials said that no concrete structure has been made till now in Sector 91.
“We have not built any concrete structure in the area yet, and there is no need for conspiracy theories. We are only going to start plantation from Wednesday. It’s an open area and anyone can visit and report any construction is going on,” Singh said.