Heritage-lovers fume over the felling of trees at Victoria Museum. There is nothing wrong in constructing a museum block but trees should not be cut.

When Dr. Ramprasad travelled all the way from Guntur along with his family to the Victoria Museum in the city on Sunday he was taken aback on noticing giant logs and branches scattered on the museum premises.

“How can authorities cut such big decades-old trees? A museum is a place where heritage items, artefacts and other things are housed. These trees are part of the museum’s legacy and efforts should be made to conserve, not cut them,” said Ramprasad.

Like him most people, especially heritage and tree lovers in the city are fuming over the museum authorities for felling the trees.

As part of their plans to construct a new coastal museum, the museum authorities identified 12-decade-old trees on the right side of the existing museum for cutting to make space of about 1,500 yards for the new block. Authorities have already cut five of them and seven are left.

There is nothing wrong in constructing a museum block but trees should not be cut. The museum is spread over 3.50 acres, and authorities should identify another location for the block and spare the trees. The issue will be taken up with district Collector M. Raghunandana Rao, says T. Rama Mohan Rao, Convenor of INTACH, Machilipatnam Chapter.

“How can authorities disturb a garden and cut such big trees. They can construct the new block behind the existing museum where a guest house and other administrative offices are operated,” advises Mr. Rao.

On the other hand, museum authorities defend their act saying everything was done according to rules and there was no violation.

Spadework

A lot of homework was done in identifying the location for a new block. It is going to be three times bigger than the existing museum and requires a lot of space. It will be a replica of the present block and would have sculpture, prehistoric, bronze and decorative galleries, says a senior official.

For cutting the trees, permission was taken from Forest Department and a contract was given to a private firm. However, instructions have been issued by the police to temporarily hold the tree-cutting and a report would be submitted to higher authorities, he adds.

What do you think about the museum authorities’ act of cutting trees? Please mail your opinions to vijayawada@thehindu.co.in or tweet @VjaConnect.

More In: Vijayawada