Odisha cut 1.85 crore trees to widen roads in 10 years, planted only 29 lakh

Trees Cut

The Odisha government on Tuesday said that it has cut over 1.85 crore trees in the last 10 years for widening of roads.
Replying to a question of BJP MLA Mohan Majhi in the assembly, on the number of trees felled for widening of roads in Odisha between 2010 and 2020, forest and environment minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said the trees were cut for widening of national highways such as the Sambalpur-Chhatisgarh section of NH-6, four-laning of Bhubaneswar-Puri road, Panikoili-Remuli section and Remuli Rajamunda section.

However, just about 29 lakh trees were planted in place of the felled trees at an expenditure of ₹66.17 crore. The total number of trees planted were about 16 per cent of the trees that were cut down. The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change has authorized the state governments to grant General Approval under Section 2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land up to 5 hectare in each case for creation of critical public utility infrastructure by government departments involving felling of trees not exceeding 50 number of trees per hectare in Maoist-affected districts. As per Forest Conservation Act, 1980, for every tree cut on non-forest land for any developmental project, two trees have to be planted while the same for forest lands is 10.

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