9,000 trees to be cut in Himachal: Dhumal

March 17th, 2011 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, March 17 (IANS) More than 9,000 trees will face the axe because a hydropower project is to come up in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said Thursday.

“As many as 9,621 trees, including 1,260 of deodar, would be axed due to the laying of the transmission lines by Jaypee Powergrid Ltd (JPL),” Dhumal told Congress member G.S. Bali in the state assembly.

Bali said it was a serious issue as the government had allowed the chopping of so many trees to lay the transmission lines from Wangtoo in Kinnaur to Adbullapur in Haryana.

“As per my information, around 19,600 trees would be axed and these include thousands of fully grown deodars,” he said.

Agreeing with the environmental concerns of Bali, Dhumal said he would again check the exact figure of the trees to be felled.

Dhumal said the proposal of diversion of 322 hectares of forest land to JPL to lay the transmission lines was approved by the central government July 21, 2009. It will pass through the forest area of 70 km.

When Bali insisted that the relocation of the transmission lines would save most of the trees, the chief minister said: “It will not be possible at this point of time.”

A forest department official told IANS on condition of anonymity that it was a lapse on the part of the department to allow the JPL to lay the transmission lines in the thickly wooded area.

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