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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sanand locals protest against cutting trees for road widening

The locals submitted a representation to the state authorities Saturday against the Roads & Buildings Department's decision to begin road widening work on the stretch of the state highway for which around 300 trees are to be cut to tackle the rising traffic.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
Updated: November 5, 2021 4:36:22 pm
Trees cut on the stretch between Sanand and Nalsarovar. (Express Photo)

The road widening work between Sanand and Nalsarovar in Ahmedabad has been met with protests from locals concerned about the felling of year-old trees with large canopy. The locals submitted a representation to the state authorities Saturday against the Roads & Buildings Department’s decision to begin road widening work on the stretch of the state highway for which around 300 trees are to be cut to tackle the rising traffic.

The representation also stated that trees with large canopy are being unnecessarily cut on either side of the state highway for widening the road. Questioning the road widening work, the locals have expressed concerns if such works would result in the disappearance of migratory birds from the nearby bird sanctuary in the long run.

It is to be noted that Nalsarovar, around 40 km from Sanand, is Gujarat’s first Ramsar site — a wetland site designated to be of international importance and protected under strict guidelines of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Gujarat now has three Ramsar sites, the other two being Thol near Ahmedabad and Wadhwana in Vadodara.

The representation, submitted to the Sanand Prant Officer, requested the authorities to stop the work. “We find this exercise unnecessary at the cost of age-old trees. Hence, we have registered our protest. Many trees have already been cut,” said Milind Bauddh, one of the signatories of the representation.

Sanand Prant Office Jagdish Patel said he has received the objections and has forwarded them to the concerned authorities of the R&B department.

KM Brahmbhatt, the Executive Engineer of the R&B department, said they are widening a stretch of the road to deal with rising traffic intensity. He said necessary permissions were taken from the forest department as per rules. The R&B department has also paid the cost of double the trees that are to be cut for compensatory forestation. Some locals who are not aware of this are protesting, he added.

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