It has been reported that many trees were cut down recently in order to make a helipad ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s arrival at Balangir in Odisha. This action has come in for criticism as all over the country efforts are consciously being made to save the trees and preserve our environment. Merely planting new saplings cannot replace trees that have been growing for so many years.
The Prime Minister was there this morning 15 Jan, to inaugurate the Balangir- Bichuppali railway line in Odisha.
Samir Satpathy , District Forest Officer confirmed that about a thousand trees were felled to make the helipad for Modi’s arrival. He went on to say that since the trees were on Railway land the onus was on the Railways to clarify who had given permission for this forest clearance. The blame game continued with the East Coast Railways saying that it was the job of the Public Works Department [PWD] to build helipads and the PWD in turn said they had no idea who had cut the trees!
It is an irony that such axing of trees is continuing here, when Odisha was one of the states that had adopted hugging of trees by women and children under the Chipko movement in order toprevent their felling.