Nayagarh: Following the nod from National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Nayagarh district administration swung into action and has constructed a threekilometre road from Balabhadrapur to Dhipamal in just three days. The construction work passing through Gudupali village forest began June 21 and was completed June 23. Fearing any untoward incident, the district administration has clamped Sec 144 in the locality since June 16.
The construction was completed in the presence of three magistrates and seven police platoons. Also present were Nayagarh sub-collector Lagnajit Rout, Nuagaon tehsildar and BDO, Nayagarh additional SP Umakant Mallick and Bidyut Panda, Nayagarh SDPO Suvendhu Singh, 3 DSPs and Sadar police IIC Deepak Khandayatroy.
However, at least 500 small and big trees had to be chopped off to make space for the road which has not gone down well with the residents of Gudupali village. According to the case diary, a rift broke out between residents of Gudupali village with those of 17 other villages over the road construction five years back and had been continuing since then. The residents of Gudupali objected to the construction of road passing through the forest which is home to a number of valuable trees. On the other hand residents of the 17 other villages demanded for proper road connectivity.
Despite repeated intervention by the administration to settle the dispute, the villagers were at loggerheads over the construction of the road through the jungle. Gudupali village president Dilip Nayak said, “At least 500 trees have been cut off for the construction work. While we are trying to save the trees, is the deforestation justified?”
On the other hand, residents of other villages said the road within the forest will help people commute easily. “We had requested the district administration to construct a proper road. However, villagers of Gudupali had intentionally planted trees to prevent the construction work. Fortunately, the administration and NGT intervened and cleared the path for construction of the road,” a villager said.