Don’t axe trees: NGT to dept - ECAS Punjab

Don’t axe trees: NGT to dept

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Sangrur, September 4

In a big relief for residents of Sangrur city, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Forest Department authorities to ensure that no felling of trees takes place on the Telepone Exchange road here without valid justification.

Perturbed over the alleged attempts of the Public Works Department (PWD) to axe fully grown trees from their neighbourhood, senior citizens of the city had knocked the doors of the NGT after they reportedly failed to get required response from the local authorities.

PWD officers adamant

I am 88 years old, but I have to fight to save the trees of my area as PWD officers are adamant to axe these. All area residents are furious at the authorities as nobody is willing to listen to us. —Harbinder S Sekhon, Resident

In their petition, filed with the NGT last month, area residents had alleged that PWD officers wanted to axe 91 trees from a stretch of around 400 meters on the Telephone Exchange road to shift electricity poles. They had alleged that the PWD wanted to shift the poles to the edge of road, which was only one foot away from their present location. However, there was no need of it as the road already had enough space.

"Our road is located in the heart of city and is used for light traffic. It has enough space for two wheelers and four wheelers and there is no need to shift electricity poles to the edge. The NGT has directed the Forest Department to look into the matter and ensure that no felling of trees takes place without valid justification and the due process of law. We are thankful to the NGT," said Sekhon.

Vidhya Sagari, Divisional Forest Officer, Sangrur, said she had not received the order of NGT as yet and that the department would take quick action on it.

Parmjit Goyal, Superintendent Engineer of PWD, Sangrur, said they had planned to shift electricity poles to the edge of road to widen the road.

"But after area residents opposed, we withdrew the proposal. Presently, neither do we have any plan to axe any tree nor to prune them. If need arises, we will follow all legal process," said Goyal. — TNS



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