Daringbadi: Even though the soil from the roots of several large trees have been removed as a part of their relocation process owing to an ongoing expansion work on a stretch of National Highway – 59 between Goplapur and Raipur via Daringbadi, these trees are yet to be translocated.
Locals are apprehensive that these trees might get uprooted at any time during the frequent Nor’westers these days. Not only that would mean the eventual end of life for the tree but also it might pose a threat to human lives.
Even though expansion of the stretch between Baliguda and Daringbadi, a portion of the National Highway connecting Gopalpur and Raipur via Daringbadi is underway, the roadside trees are not being felled as was the earlier practice. Instead, they are said to be translocated and new saplings are planted by the expanded roadside.
As a part of this process, soil from the base of these marked trees had been removed few days ago. Surprisingly enough, these trees have not been translocated yet. Given the base soil is removed, possibility of these weakened trees getting uprooted is high.
To add to the worry of locals, Nor’wester rains are frequent guests in these parts of the district at this time of the year.
People have more or less stopped using this stretch, out of fear that the tress might come down at any moment.
Tough these trees pose a threat to the lives of commuters, the contractor firm is allegedly buying time to carry out the job, locals alleged.
“Many trees got uprooted and fell on people during the cyclone Fani, claiming some lives and leaving many disabled. Here, the same but man-made, fear is lurking. From the trees and people’s safety point of view, these trees need to be shifted immediately,” observed a local resident Kaliprasad Mallick and social activist Suresh Baliarsingh.
The dug up soil can also be found scattered on the National Highway making it difficult for vehicles to navigate this stretch. Apart from relocating these trees, the contractor firm should take immediate steps to remove the soil from the road, local residents demanded.
When contacted, junior engineer, Baliguda section, NHAI, Jayadev Dey said, “Process is on for translocation of as many as one thousand trees. While 40 percent of the trees have already been taken away, the rest of the trees will soon be removed.”