Jajpur: In Sukinda tehsil of Jajpur district, in Damodarpur, Batalanda and Kargola Mouza areas, a large number of trees have been cut down again for infrastructure development, locals alleged. The reason given is that the area will be developed for horticulture. However, the area in which the trees have been decimated only large machine can be seen.
Tapan Kumar Baral, a local resident, has approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT), accusing the Odisha government’s horticulture department for needlessly destroying of forests. A case (No. 57/2021 / EZ) has been filed in NGT in this regard.
Justice B. Amit Sthalekar and Judicial Member Saibal Dasgupta heard the case in 2014 and had directed the state government to conduct an enquiry and submit the report by a month.
Jajpur district is known as an emerging hub of industries with units of various companies coming up on a regular basis. They are coming up in place of large areas of forest land where trees have been felled without any compassion. Locals alleged that Forest department officials in collusion with various companies are illegally felling the trees. They alleged that bribes are being paid to Forest department officials for cleaning up the land.
In June and July 2017, more than 20,000 trees were cut down on 182.62 hectares of forest land in the Sukinda area. It has also been alleged that large industrial companies are also involved in the illegal felling of trees. So far no action has been taken against the erring trees in this regard.