State of Rajiv Van exposes ‘concern’ for environment in state

While Rahul Gandhi,the Congress General Secretary,is scheduled to visit Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) on February 14...

Written by Shubhlakshmi Shukla | Vadodara | Published: February 12, 2009 2:48:43 am

While Rahul Gandhi,the Congress General Secretary,is scheduled to visit Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) on February 14,the poor state of Rajiv Van situated in Kevadia Colony may give him a shock.

A massive tree plantation drive was undertaken at the Rajiv Van several years ago to counterbalance the felling of trees during the project.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi had been invited to inaugurate Rajiv Van,said sources.

Ironically,around one-and-a half years ago,the land comprising Rajiv Van residential colony was handed over to State Reserve Police Force (SRPF),group 14,by the SSNNL authorities.

P D Vasava,the Vice President of the state Congress,said,”Rajiv Van was attached to Rajiv Van Colony for SSNNL employees. Together they measure around 125 acres. The area has now been handed over to SRPF.” Vasava said the area is not maintained properly and has no fencing.

K J Trivedi,the chief executive Engineer of SSNNL,refused to comment,while S D Vora,the Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF),Paryavaran Wing of SSNNL,said: “All the allegations are wrong and there is no problem regarding survival of trees in the Van.” Vora said he had recently visited the area that comes under their supervision.

Sanat Mehta,former Chairman and Managing Director (CMD),SSNNL,said,”Rajiv Van was one of the areas where more than 20,000 youth were involved in planting trees across the Kevadia Colony.”

Mehta said,”Even,deputy chairman of the World Bank was invited for this massive drive,which was the first of its kind in the state. The measure was taken up to prove that SSNNL is not threatening environment.”

However,reportedly Rajiv Van and other forest areas are in a bad state and the colony which led to the enclosure is given to the SRPF,he said.

Meanwhile,Mani Vasava,the Narmada District Congress Vice President,said,”The SSNNL has no objection to installing fountains worth Rs 15 lakh.

Parimal Valera,the commander of SRPF-Group-14,who was on leave,refused to comment on the issue.

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