March 15, 2021 5:48:47 am
Alleging that the Public Works Department (PWD) has been massacring the trees in the city in the name of development projects, the residents of Sangrur city gathered Sunday on Kali Devi Temple road and held one-minute silence to condemn the axing of trees.
Jasinder Sekhon, a city resident, said that recently PWD has chopped 26 fully grown trees on Kali Devi Temple road and more than 300 trees at different locations have been axed in a similar way in the past three years in Sangrur city but PWD officials fail to provide any valid justification for massacring city’s green cover.
“Twenty-six fully grown trees have been axed on Kali Devi Temple road in Sangrur where almost 150 city residents gathered today and expressed anguish on the unwarranted felling of the trees. All these trees were at least 35-40 years old and fully grown. PWD did not take any permission for the same, nor did they provide any valid justification for their actions. Residents observed one-minute silence to condemn the axing of trees,” Sekhon said.
Sangrur, once called the ‘city of gardens’, was known for its green cover and was built by erstwhile Maharaja of Jind on the pattern of Jaipur. It is heartbreaking to see how old trees of the city are being felled mercilessly in the name of road widening and other works. Sangrur is being turned into a concrete jungle as there is no sensitivity towards environment. In most cases, trees have been axed even when they were not creating any hindrance or blocking the way of any road widening,” Sekhon said, adding that she would be filing a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the axing of trees by PWD.
The protesters said PWD took over the work of construction and maintenance of roads three years ago. Since then, they have been fighting a battle to save the city’s green cover.
“Trees are being chopped without following due process of law and without any valid justification. PWD has taken over the roads in the city for three years and destruction is being done in the name of development,” Sekhon added.
“It was only after residents went to NGT that heritage trees on telephone exchange road were saved,” another protester said.
When contacted, Ajay Garg, Sub-Divisional Officer, PWD, said that 26 trees on Kali Devi Temple road have been axed to widen the road. “For each and every tree chopped or pruned, we have all the required permissions,” he said.
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