A total 4,830 trees will be cut down for the proposed conversion of a 29.6 kilometres road connecting Vadodara to Dabhoi into four lane from the current two-lane, a route that will be important for tourists visiting the Statue of Unity at Kevadia in Narmada district after it is ready for public. The cutting of the trees is inevitable as they stand on both sides bordering the road. In two months, the forest department has managed to chop down around 2,000 trees, and another 2,830 trees will be chopped down in as much time, officials said.
A private contractor has been given the task of cutting the trees which were surveyed by the office of the range forest officers at Vadodara and Dabhoi. “We had conducted the survey and marked the trees around two years ago, even though the work on cutting them has begun now as the Roads and Buildings department has given green signal to convert the road into four-lane,” said RFO Vadodara P B Chauhan.
The private contractor has deployed JCB machines, trucks and a team of labourers to cut and transport the trees to a godown at Ashapura from where the forest department will auction them off after the work is completed. “As many as 1,117 trees stand on both sides of the road from Vadodara and a village called Hetampura, which falls under the jurisdiction of Vadodara RFO, while from there to Dabhoi, we have 3,713 trees. The work has started from Dabhoi and will go on till it touches Kapurai chokdi, the last point on the road touching the national highway that connects Vadodara to Surat,” said Dabhoi RFO CC Rohit.
Officials of the R&B department said the work of widening of this state highway was pending since long but has been expedited keeping in view the construction of the government’s ambitious 182-metre-tall Statue of Unity that is coming up at an islet on Narmada river near the Narmada dam. The statue will draw tourists from Ahmedabad and Vadodara, and this road will see heavy traffic. The Statue of Unity site will be around 60 kilometres from Dabhoi.