Bhadrak: In the last 20 years, more than one lakh trees have been felled in Bhadrak district to facilitate the development of infrastructure, a source said Friday. The large-scale destruction of trees was carried out for the four-laning of the NH-16 and various other. All the trees lying on a 40-km stretch from Akhuapada to Ranital in Bhadrak district were chopped off.
The NHAI said approximately 11,240 large trees were cut down for the expansion of NH-16. However, other sources contested the claim and said that 50,000 fully-grown trees were destroyed.
Similarly, around 7,411 large trees were cut off along a 45 km stretch for the Salandi river ‘Sanskar Yojana’.
During restoration of Reba and Kapali rivers taken up in 2009, about 169 trees were cut. It is said that thousands of trees were felled for the 152 PMGSY road laying works carried out in seven blocks.
Likewise, 15,640 large trees were felled for Bhadrak-Anandpur state highway expansion project.
On being contacted, Bhadrak Forest department official Sadhana Behera said, “Massive plantation drive has been taken up in the last two years over an area spanning over 104 kilometres. Block administrations in the district have also planted trees on 26 hectare of land. However, forestation to restore lost cover has not been conducted so far.”